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Beginner Flowers: edging plants for borders

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AnnFran
East Greenbush, NY

February 26, 2014
5:47 AM

Post #9777043

Would like to have a really nice cottage garden this summer (zone 5) It's long, maybe 15 feet. and 9 feet wide.
I need good edging plants...besides lamb's ears what would you use? Maybe alyssum?
All ideas welcome. Last year my European ginger had brown edges, did not look good!
Thanks for suggestions. AnnFran
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 26, 2014
8:47 PM

Post #9777631

How much sun or shade?

Will it be watered?

If you want temporary border plants, then look into plants that grow as annuals, and you can select whatever flower color, or mix that you want.
Many annuals come in groups, mixed varieties and colors that all grow about the same height.
So, for a full sun location you might select Dwarf Zinnias, or Marigolds that get 6" to 12" high, either stay upright and make a dense, showy border. If you want something a bit larger, they are available in groups that grow to many different size ranges up to several feet. A little different might be Cathranthus rosea, or Celosia (a couple of types) or Salvia (several species and hybrids. Many of the Salvias that grow as perennials for me (zone 9) would be annuals in a colder zone. Bedding Begonias are dense, low upright.
If you want something that stays lower, sprawls, then petunias are good in the sun. Even the upright ones are not as upright as the prior plants. Lobelia are mostly in the blue-purple tones, (I like Rosamond Red, a rich red-pink Lobelia) and are OK in part sun. Similar growth habit as Alyssum.


If you want a perennial, you would have to make sure it will stay alive through your winter (depends on your zone) but there are LOTS of perennials to choose from.
Tell us sun or shade, how high and wide you want the border to grow, and your zone and someone will post back with their favorite choices.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

March 4, 2014
10:08 AM

Post #9781684

I agree with Diana, you will be best to let us know IF you want All Perennial plants, these come back year after year WITH SOME PROTECTION, like your Lambs Ears.

Then there are hardy annuals, these are grown from seed one year and flower second year, then Die off.

Then there are Annuals, these are grown from seed, grow, flower and die ALL THE SAME SINGLE SEASON. these are great for filling in spaces between Perennial's while they are still quite small, as the Perennials grow from season to season, they will fill out a much larger area and the Annuals wont be required.

Nest, have you any preference to colour, do you like a mixed border with Perennials AND shrubs, Lilly bulbs, or other tuberous plants like Dahlia's, Peonie's etc.

That sort of info would help greatly and give an idea of what type of border you require.
it must be said, the amount of time you have to spare for the upkeep of a cultivated Border also helps dictate the type of border you wish, there's NO point digging a beautiful area full of plants that need lot's of care, watering, feeding ect, and you feel unable to give the time required for it's up-keep or you would end up feeling let down when the plants AND weeds get completely out of control through lack of attention.

Any Border can look spectacular IF you have a few hours a day to be so disciplined for 2-3 hours a day, but 2-3 hours a week can also be wonderful but with different plantings from the first mentioned that needs several hours a day.
The more info you can give, the better structured help you will get in return and don't be afraid to say IF you don't understand, gardening is all about learning, enjoyment, creativity, trial & error, but no garden was ever built in a day so learn some patient too, we all had to start way back at the beginning, and after 50nyears, learning new things still, but never lost my love of gardening. Enjoy and good luck.
Kindest Regards. WeeNel.

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 5, 2014
8:58 AM

Post #9782342

Ann... There are some great edgers out there to choose from. I have bought the large packets at Home Depot for less than $4. I just throw the seed on the ground after I've scrapped it a bit. The fragrance is absolutely divine when you get drifts of it...
Perennia Geraniium Rozanne is a wonderful all season bloomer (or Johnsons Blue). There are many many varieties of Dianthhus to choose from some fragrant (pix 1 ad 4 are dianthus Loveliness, all season bloom) Pix 3 is Dianthus grationopolitanus 'Cheddar Pinks' or 'Bath's Pinks' (only spring bloom) (pix 2 is Saponaria ocymoides, spring bloom) (pix 5 is Coreopsis grandiflora Sunrise, all season bloom at 12-18", from spring to frost...and they reseed making a patch if allowed).

A few others to look for Gypsophila repens, Sedums, Ajugas, Creeping phlox, Scabiosas (there are some shorted varieties, I think Butterfly blue is short), Geums, Potentillas, There are dwarf Iris, dwf. Veronicas, perennial Alyssum which is fragrant (spring), Origanum Kent Bells, Dianthus deltoides 'Zing', Armeria maritima all season. There are sooooo many wonderful plants that could be tried

Check out the website for Select Seeds to findsome great annuals too. Zaluzianskya c. comes to mind and is fragrant in the evening, also many of the Nicotianas (just throw the seed on the ground this spring) are eve. fragrant too...enought to bring you out into the garden at night just to sit and enjoy the wafts of fragrance as the hawk moths flit past looking for nectar from the night bloomers..fun, fun, fun. Just a couple of ideas, let me know if you would like more... Kathy

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy   Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy   Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy   Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy   Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Click an image for an enlarged view.

AnnFran
East Greenbush, NY

March 7, 2014
11:35 AM

Post #9784055

Thank you for your help on edging plants. Garden is in full sun. (zone 5) I have lamb's ears on the edge in part of the garden,

I like blue, lavender, white, silver... Perennials or annuals either one is fine. Right now I have mostly perennials.

I have short coreopsis which I might move to the edge , also tall coreopsis .
Most of the garden is perennials, the usual...I have
yarrow, sedum , coneflowers. balloon flowers, daisys, br. eyed Susans, Blue Salvia, Pinks, Russian Sage (my favorite plant) , bee balm and liastris.
In the small part shade part I have hostas goat's beard, astilbes .
I hope this makes sense...my brain is a bit addled...winter has been too long, All help welcome and thank you in advance.
NancyGroutsis
Hopkinton, MA
(Zone 5b)

March 7, 2014
5:04 PM

Post #9784288

AnnFran, for a sunny border you could try the Ed Wood Asters (i.e. Wood's Pink, Wood's Blue). They grow into a 1 1/2 ft. emerald green shrub that flowers a few weeks in autumn. If you want a smaller plant that flowers for many months I suggest Sweet Allysum:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/4038/

I have a Wood's Pink aster so I can testify that it will grow well in zone 5. It returns every year and the 1 inch plant I got is now 2 1/2 feet. I got several colors of allysum to try this year. I heard they like full sun and will be planting them on a slope and in pots.

DoGooder
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2014
10:12 AM

Post #9787290

Kathy, Beautiful pictures! Would you please identify? I didn't see the names in your reply or on the pictures, but I am on my lunch break at work, so in a hurry. If I missed them, I apologize! Thanks!

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2014
11:30 AM

Post #9787353

So sorry thought I had labeled.. LOL.
1) Dianthus x Loveliness, mix colors, very!!!! fragrant, blooms all summer at 18"^x!2-14">
2) Saponaria ocymoides, spring, about 3 weeks, ground hugging up to 4-6"^ and trails, can reseed making a patch
3) Dianthus grationopolitanus Bath's or Cheddar Pinks, very fragrant, spring, rarely reseeds
4) white is Dianthus X Loveliness and Geranium Rozanne
5) Coreopsis grandiflora "Sunray", 18" from spring to fall frost if deadheaded, can reseed
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2014
6:40 AM

Post #9791360

Maybe you did & I didn't look hard enough. As I said, I was in a hurry-lol. Thanks. I love all of them, but especially that second one. Does it have a common name as well?

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2014
7:22 AM

Post #9791386

The only common name that I've seen is 'soapwort', this plant tails and can hang nicely over a wall, (very pretty effect).
idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 18, 2014
10:31 AM

Post #9792296

Kathy, thanks, they're gorgeous! Don't think I've ever seen them!

warriorswisdomkathy

warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2014
6:58 PM

Post #9792663

They can reseed and will fill an area in and around other plants. Height is 4-6"^x24-36" long (they trail). Wish they blooomed longer tho...it's bloom cycle is about 4 weeks and then they are just green the remainder of the season... If you like send me a d-mail in June-ish (mid-late) and I'll colllect some seed for you if you like...

Another groundcover I like (actually there are 2 in this pix), Left: Gypsophila repens, reseeds, blooms in lt. spring, here at altitude where I am it blooms several months. Right is Callirhoe involucrata (Wine Cups), again a ground hugger and about 2-3foot stems with flowers all along the stem.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

idealpeggy
Lexington, KY
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2014
10:10 AM

Post #9793858

[quote="warriorswisdomkathy"]They can reseed and will fill an area in and around other plants. Height is 4-6"^x24-36" long (they trail). Wish they blooomed longer tho...it's bloom cycle is about 4 weeks and then they are just green the remainder of the season... If you like send me a d-mail in June-ish (mid-late) and I'll colllect some seed for you if you like...

Another groundcover I like (actually there are 2 in this pix), Left: Gypsophila repens, reseeds, blooms in lt. spring, here at altitude where I am it blooms several months. Right is Callirhoe involucrata (Wine Cups), again a ground hugger and about 2-3foot stems with flowers all along the stem.[/quote]

Kathy,
Wow, yes, I would love some seed! I will try to remember to d-mail you then! Thanks so much for the ideas! My flower garden has gotten kind of ho-hum. These would spark it up and they're in my color scheme too!! Appreciate it!!

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