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Border Plants

Indian Harbour Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I'd like to pick your brains and would be grateful for suggestions. I have a winding pea gravel path in my front yard - full sun. At the moment the borders to the path are planted with liriope. They haven't performed as well as I'd hoped. Some are bigger than others (same variety); and some just don't look too good. I have an opportunity to dig out the good ones and give them to someone who will use them for the gardens in Habitat for Humanity houses.

Question: what can I plant ? I'm not a great lover of Mexican Heather or even Blue Daze - especially in such large quantities. I'm attaching a picture taken a little over a year ago when I redid the front and started planting the liriope (which looked good then). I don't want anything too tall. I know what I'd like, but those plants wouldn't grow in my zone.

Thanks

Thumbnail by orchid923
Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Hi Orchid923

I really like the Variegated flax for borders, and they are drought resistant. They will also multiply so you'll always have a fresh supply of new plants to fill in the gaps.

Another possibility I would recommend is Crown of Thorns; again, drought resistant and easily propagated.

I had a similar experience with liriope and will not use it again; how nice that you have found a way of donating your plants for a good cause, though!

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

What about Rain Lilies. I think they make a great border plant.

Indian Harbour Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Both good suggestions - thanks. I was thinking of society garlic (low maintenance) interspersed with the variegated flax. Got to dig out the liriope first and then I will just stare at it for a week or so until the light bulb goes on ! I love crown of thorns, but I don't really want it for a border plant. I'm beginning to swap out my regular ct's for the euphorbias which I'm putting in large pots. The flowers are huge and gorgeous.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I planted society garlic in my yard once, but everytime I went out there and bumped into it, it stunk up the whole yard, all day. I had to dig it up. It's pretty tho, if you can keep from breaking it. : ) I just didn't like the smell.

This message was edited Jul 12, 2008 11:47 AM

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Orchid, by variegated flax, are you thinking of Dianella tasmanica http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/54322/ ?

If so, it is a fairly temperamental plant. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has a lot of it. It doesn't seem to do well in either sun or shade, but does somewhat better in sun/part shade. The leaves tend to brown out easily. We all considered it a "high maintenance" plant. The flowers are basically insignificant unless there are a lot of them bunched together.

Jeremy

Valrico, FL(Zone 9b)

Dianella would do very well, and the price is down right cheap now. I personally can't stand to look at it, but that's only because of having to manage the line while it went through its prime for the last 2 years. Nearly half a million bibs per year and people fighting to get their hands on it. Now it's hard to give away.

Personally, I think the rain lily suggestion is perfect. In your zone you should have foliage all year, and rewarded with stunning flower displays that appear out of nowhere.

Here's a small one I did of Habranthus. The day before, there wasn't a flower in sight. Heavy rain, and this is how it looked in the morning. Ignore the weeds if you can. It's peak season, and like a mechanic, I don't have time to work on my own yard. :-)

http://www.buried-treasure.net/gallary/habranthus.jpg

Chris

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Doesn't the variegated flax need shade? Orchid, your area looks like it is in full sun.

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Chris, How many bulbs did you plant to get that look?

Valrico, FL(Zone 9b)

Dianella will take full sun, and Miami full sun at that. Drought resistant as well.

That's the second year on that border, and the bulbs are planted 1 every 3", so 4 per foot. About 50 bulbs originally, but it's most likely tripled with offsets since then.

Chris

Wauchula, FL(Zone 9b)

Andthose rain lillies multyply like crazy & alll the seed come up. I am constantly removing them from where I don't want them, Lorine

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Lorine, if you have any rain lilies to spare I would love to trade.

Lizette

Wauchula, FL(Zone 9b)

Don't have any right now. I have disposed of them, When they bloom again I can save the seed, they grow very fast, Just remind me,
Lorine

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

my flax is not temperamental at all and thriving in full sun.

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

I'm glad to hear that. I have had one in a pot forever on my patio because I thought it needed shade. Now I am going to plant it in my yard.

(Zone 9a)

How do you keep the weeds out? How thick is the mulch?

Indian Harbour Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Thanks for all the suggetions - I do have rain lilies - but my foliage does disappear ! Since the path is only used occasionally I'm not worried about a "stinky" yard -- and it's pretty wide so even the UPS or FedEx guys needn't worry.
When I find the right plants I'll take pix and post.

Indian Harbour Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I like the idea of some Dianella mixed in with other stuff.
---- fireant --- I have fairly thick mulch with weed barrier underneath. I just slit it when I want to plant something. So far, I hardly get any weeds - it's all manageable.

(Zone 9a)

Your garden looks great. For the plants, I like the flax, but I am not having much luck with rainlilies.

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Public gardens are a great place to get ideas http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/739026/ Bok Tower is one place I go that has great gardens. They mix perennials and annuals with great skill.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

My favorite for border is Verbena. It is a ground cover, but it does make a wonderful border too. It is drought resistant and just thrives on its own.

Or maybe some Lavender. It smells great and very low maintenance.

Here is the Verbena.

Thumbnail by irishsoul
West Central, FL(Zone 9b)

I have seen that verbena in a few yards around here and it looks great!
Which verbena is that? I might just use it myself for something...lol!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

That is a Tapien Blue Violet. I also have the Tapien Pink.

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Looks like Verbena 'Homestead Purple', an excellent plant for FL. Does best if you don't water it after it becomes established.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Very true. It just gets rain and I do feed it some plant vitamins. That is just one plant. You also need to mulch very lightly, or not at all. The bigger it grows, it puts down new roots to survive.

West Central, FL(Zone 9b)

So I gather it doesn't like "wet feet". Susceptable to fungus or rot?

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

It doesn't care for wet, but mine has done well even through a hail storm. I think as long as it is out in the sun, it remains happy. We have also been getting a lot of rain lately, but good drainage helps. Have not seen any fungus or any other type of disease.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I planted bulbine this year in my back yard. I have tons of butterflies & bees on its pretty orange flowers. It is a Florida native & seems to deal well with whatever conditions it is in. It is thickening up nicely. I planted society garlic in my front yard because I needed the lavendar color. It is also doing well. It may be a coincidence, but it seems to keep the snails away....

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I have both Society Garlic and Bulbane. You are so right about the Bees and Butterflies, they love it. Also, the SG is very attractive to the Hummingbird Moth.

The are both wonderful border plants and are very drought resistant. They can survive wonderful from just the moisture in the air.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

teric - I love Bulbine, also. Great plant for xeriscaping because it wants to be mostly dry (even mulch around it can cause too much moisture for it). However, someone may have given you incorrect info about it being a Florida native. It is native to S. Africa. We used it in the Savanna Blooms giraffe overlook area at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens with other African origin plants. A wonderful plant, none the less.

Jeremy

Orlando, FL

What about miniature roses? They give great color, in sun would be happy. I had a ton of them many years ago and loved the look of them all lined up. The scent is really nice too.

Buried Treasures....do you put anything on the rain lilies, fertilizer, anything? I have some and love them. But have never seen them like that, so many blooms at once. I only get a few flowers at a time.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I should never believe what they tell me at the nursery!!! I do love them though.

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

More border plants, from a yard in Tampa.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Valrico, FL(Zone 9b)

No. I don't put anything on them. Those are Habranthus though, and not Zephyranthes. It's a much fuller species with both larger foliage and flowers. Believe it or not, we have a newer cultivar with even larger flowers.

Chris

Miami, FL

Our only native cycad, coontie (Zamia integrifolia) would make a great border plant.

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