SPRING Low Border Gardens

PERENNIALS

Low Border Gardens

COLOR YOU CAN TUCK IN   Low gardens are found alongside walkways and paths, under or along fences, or at the beginning edge of a bigger and taller garden. They also work as small pocket gardens tucked beside a porch or some nearby shrubs. These perennials can be nipped and tucked throughout the yard to add a spot of easy-care color here and there.

HOW HIGH IS LOW?  Generally, we consider a low-growing perennial to be a creeper or a trailing perennial, perhaps one that only reaches 12 inches when mature. Some of the low growers will pop some blooms a little higher, but usually this is color that gathers around your ankles and shins. In most cases, low-growing color needs full sun or sufficient access to morning and evening light.

  • Campanulas are wonderful trailing perennials with a long bloom life. They drape well over rocks and crevices, or down slopes or even curbsides.
  • Dianthus are wonderful little power bloomers that produce flowers in waves throughout the season. When massed together, they have a nice dusky green or blue-green carpet quality to them.
  • Platycodon, or balloon flowers, are a sentimental favorite. They add a novel interest to the low garden.
  • Groundcover sedums, or stonecrop, are tough and water-tight—good for very hot or very dry areas where other plants scrabble to exist. Mostly purchased for their textures and foliage, they will also bloom in bright colors.
  • Hardy geraniums, or cranesbill, would be evergreen, if it were not for the snow. They perk up very quickly once the snow melts, and they form a lovely loose hedge when planted en masse. A heavy profusion of flowers appears above the foliage.
  • Veronicas are the candlesticks of the low garden, with a strong vertical presence despite their short stature. Plant a group of them for your own Candlestick Park.
  • Creeping Phlox is another extremely low, extremely floriferous perennial that blooms very early in the season.

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