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Good low growing flower for front of flower bed?

Chickamauga, GA(Zone 7a)

I would like some ideas on a good hardy low growing flower for the front area of my flower bed. Right now I have in it....the back is lined with giant state fair zinnia seedlings. I have some coleosia (sp?) in yellow, a russian sage, may midnight salvia, dwarf coreopsis, a small daliah, some creeping thyme, a few daylillies, African Daisies, and a few other things. So I have a mix of perennials and annuals but I would like the rest of what I add to the bed to be perennials if I can help it.

I am not really doing a theme of any kind just anything that I think looks pretty I throw it in there :) I dont have a color scheme going or anything like that. Any and all suggestions would be great, thanks in advance!

(Zone 5a)

Scented Dianthus.

Dearborn, MI(Zone 5b)

Catmint (Nepeta Blue Wonder)

St. Peter's, PE(Zone 6a)

Perennial geranium

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Saxifraga 'Purple Robe' Campanula poscharskyana, Bergenia, Geum, small hostas, Astilbe chinensis, dwarf Aruncus, Alchemilla, Dicentra eximia, Heucheras, Tiarellas, Pulmonarias, Primulas, acorus

Fairmont, WV(Zone 6a)

Everyone I'm looking for exactly the same thing, any recommendations particularly good for full sun and clay?

pam

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

none of the above

McKinney, TX(Zone 8a)

Creeping Phlox (Phlox Subulata), Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), Drummondís Sundrops (Calylophus drummondianus), Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), Pink Scullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens), Various Rainlily's, Low Growing Sedums - like Dragon's Blood

Mableton, GA(Zone 7b)

perennial geranium, I second that! full sun and clay ok :)
creeping phlox

St. Peter's, PE(Zone 6a)

aubrieta and arabis are also great for full sun

McGregor, IA(Zone 4b)

Full sun and clay: Artemisia Valerie Finnis - keep it cut back and it makes a nice border - nepeta ditto - white nancy is a pretty groundcover -
Sharon

St. Peter's, PE(Zone 6a)

You could also try dwarf balloon flower. Gorgeous plant!

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Veronica Prostrata Nestor. Mine is doing wonderful this year. About 7" tall in bloom. I have it in front of some daylilies.

Susan

This message was edited May 2, 2006 6:27 PM

Thumbnail by lincolnitess
(Zone 6a)

Phuggins - Try dwarf coneflowers and black eyed susans.

GA - There's blue fescue, mother of thyme, rock rose(Helianthemum), hardy prickly pear cactus, miniture roses, thrift, clustered bellflower, evening primrose, dwarf coneflowers and theres also pretty pink flowered strawberries. I have one called 'lipstick'....heres the link
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/54333/index.html

Steve

Denver, CO

If you want a really neat, low growing, evergreen with beautiful blooms, try a veronica georgia blue. Low ground cover type plant, spread about 2 ft around, non invasive, not touchy about wanting water or special soil, lovely blue carpet of blooms in early spring, and keeps its leaves all year round. My all time favorite plant.

Chickamauga, GA(Zone 7a)

Thanks everyone!! Solitare I am loving the pics in the PF of the veronica GA blue.....It reminds me a little of the Blue daze which has become one of my favorite flowers!! I think I may try to find some of this as I dont have any Blue in this bed right now.
It would be nice to have some color in that bed in the winter also!!! Thanks again everyone!

Fairmont, WV(Zone 6a)

Thank you everyone! :) Going to check out links and pix today...and maybe even purchase something... :)

pam

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

That 'lipstick' strawberry is amazing if you want a plant the spreads. I bought one plant 5 years ago and I have given away plants thrown them away and have a rose garden that is 5'x 20' that the 'lipstick strawberry has become a ground cover for. They grow in full sun and full shade.

(Zone 6a)

Do they really grow in full shade? WOO HOO!!! Do they still flower well in the shade?

Steve

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

They do for me.

(Zone 6a)

WOOOO!!!! A bright pink groundcover for shade. Thanks Zenpotter!!!

Steve

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

I also have the lipstick strawberry and it does spread, but I find the flowers to be fairly insignificant and, other than to fill in the vacant spots, nothing to write home about. I think a low growing hardy geranium would be a better choice. Just my opinion.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I agree

(Zone 6a)

Hardy geraniums are on my want list. Sometimes I can't run out and get the plants I want though so I have to just use what I have :)

Steve

St. Peter's, PE(Zone 6a)

Steve,
The geraniums certainly will not disappoint you. They are one my best collections. Was scouting the nurseries on Thursday and going back today. Found Purple Pillow, Katherine Adele and Expresso. Not sure where I will put them but I can never pass up a hardy geranium.

Michelle

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

Plants are very strange. My hardy geraniums just don't flower much and the lipstick strawberries are in continual blossom and beautiful.

What conditions are your hardy geraniums in? Mine are on a west facing hill.

(Zone 6a)

Zen - My lipstick strawberries only flower early-mid summer and then thats it.....I wish they would flower all summer. Do the yours in the shade flower continualy in shade as well as sun? Maybe it has to do with the age of the plant?

Michelle - Next time I see a hardy geranium, I will be sure to pick it up :)
'Expresso' sounds like a nice variety, also found one in the PlantFiles called 'Criss Canning' which also looks very nice....Saw some seeds for them at WM a while back which I would like to pick up for WSing.

Steve

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

Mine will start flowering in 4-6 weeks and will flower until a very heavy frost hits. Sun to shade. They all came from the same plant. Maybe it is a particularly hardy one. I am trying to remember for sure, but I think I put that on in 5 years ago.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Zen....can you post a picture of your strawberry plant?

St. Peter's, PE(Zone 6a)

Zen,
I have them in full sun in 3 different garden beds. I purchased 2 Rozanne's last year and they flowered from the middle of June until late September and happy to report that they returned this year and growing wonderfully.

Steve,
I love Expresso purchased it today and cannot wait to see it flower. Now Criss Canning is on my list.

Michelle

(Zone 6a)

Zen - I'm going to move some 'lipstick's to a shady spot this year. Maybe it's our different climates that affects the blooming? Are your summers cool?

Michelle - I couldn't find 'Expresso' in PF so I'm going to google image it....cause I have to see photos of it :D

Steve

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

levlevilyla I couldn't find a seperate photo for the lipstick, but here is one in the background. I have them as a ground cover in my hardy rose bed.

Steve- We have hot and humid summers.

Thumbnail by zenpotter
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I may have to try it if it can take some shade....very pretty.

(Zone 6a)

Your summers sound the same as ours, so I guess it's not the climate. I'll have to move them around to a bunch of different spots to see what they do.

Steve

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I saw the first flower on one yesterday I didn't get a photo then and it is raining to hard to take any photos now.

Chickamauga, GA(Zone 7a)

I just saw these plants for sale at Lowes last night....I didnt get them because I wanted to know if they flower all Summer?? or just in the early summer spring? These will be going in a flower bed so I am not big on just having ground cover that is sort of there taking up space when I could have flowers :)

My creeping thyme just started making some little flowers and I love it! Its so nice and soft feeling too

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 4b)

I find that they have flowers until it freezes. It seems that people have different experiences with them so buy one and see what happens. You only need one anyway they multiply very fast.

(Zone 6a)

Yes, mine only flower early to mid summer. I'm trying to find out why they don't flower all summer here.......

Steve

Elizabethton (Stoney, TN(Zone 6b)

How about some good, old, ordinary alyssum - a yummy short plants that flowers all summer, and might reseed in your area. They come in white or purple.

Beachwood, OH

HI GA - I use the following as low growing borders to hold soil and neaten the edges:
Sun:
Euonymous kewensis - a tiny dwarf evergreen vining groundcover with white veins. There are also other euonymous in gold and green, white and green, and chartreuse and dark green that form mats
Sedum Dragons Blood - love this in and out of bloom
Sedum Morchen - a small dark dark purple plant with hot pink flowers. There are loads of other low growing sedums in all colors. Even Sempervivum - hens and chicks - very popular right now
Stokesia - I like the blue ones
Iberis
dwarf hosta
Dianthus barbatus - Sweet Williams or the low growing spreading Dianthus in any color
hardy geranium - you can't go wrong
Forget Me Nots - myosotis sylvatica
Astilbe if its wet enough but the border you describe is probably too much sun
Ajuga - esp the purple leaved ones
Lyre-leaf sage - has a dark/bright purple leaf as a basal rosette and the flowers rise from it - the rosette never gets very tall.
Salvia Marcus - a dwarf Salvia I picked up at an arboretum sale and not seen anywhere else - is only about 4-5 inches high.
Armeria maritima - this would be good in your hot summers
Dwarf monarda - I think its called Petite Delight - about 8" tall.
Corsican Mint - spreads but easy to rip out. same for any of the creeping thymes.
Coralbells - esp the red blooming ones can take full sun and spread slowly - this is not the heuchera that have all the vareigated leaves
There are several dwarf Shasta Daisies but they may be taller than you want. Silver Princess is about 12".
Perennial Dwarf Aster is only about 6-8" high and there are also annual asters that stay small
Marigolds
Purple basil and keep it pinched back


Shade or part shade
Euonymous kewensis
polyanthus primroses - don't know if these would burn out for you in GA
astilbes but especially Sprite and Astilbe chinensis pumila
Forget met nots
Sweet woodruff
Lily of the Valley
various low spreading ferns like Felix femina
dwarf hostas
hellebores
European Ginger and wild ginger
Japanese Painted Fern - esp the dwarf ones.
Dwarf Goatsbeard
Tiarella
heucheras and heucherallas

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