First of all, we love getting photos of gardens– especially as beautiful and well done as this one. Secondly, this is a blooming machine so Elizabeth (and the hummingbirds) will enjoy blooms all summer long. Thirdly, this photo illustrates what a hard working perennial Coral Bells are since not all shade plants will thrive well beneath a base of a tree where it must compete against tree roots.
‘Rave On’ has beautiful silver foliage with bright rose pink flowers that stay attractive all season long. This is a terrific shade perennial that is a work horse in the garden and easy to grow. If you need that punch of color (both foliage & blooms), try Heuchera ‘Rave On’. This shade plant will not disappoint you.
Looking for an easy garden design idea that will add some impact to your perennial garden? I love using Festuca Boulder Blue for a number of reasons. This sun loving ornamental grass is easy to grow, looks great throughout the year and thrives in sun, high heat & humidity in well drained soil. Hardy from Zones 4-9. I believe it is one of of the best drought proof sun loving perennial groundcovers out there.
Add Color & Texture
Have some unpleasant spots in your garden? The handsome mound shape and narrow blue foliage make be just the ticket as it adds season long color & texture.
Break Up Competing Colors
If you have two strong competing colors that are just rubbing you the wrong way try planting a group of this soothing blue Festuca between them. Festuca is the ideal perennial to help break up strong competing colors in the garden
Small Space Gardening
Festuca grows 12”x12” so it tucks ever so nicely along narrow pathways, beneath shrubs or edging a perennial border.
Plant in Groups
If you really want to add impact, plant in groupings of 5 or more.
Some of the most beautiful gardens do a great job in repeating similar plants in adjacent areas. This frequently leads to a more harmonious flow in the garden.
Care & Growing Tips
- Add sand to heavier soils.
- Allow plants to dry out between watering.
- In the spring, use a sheers to prune away any dead foliage from winter
- Fertilize in the spring with Osmocote or a balanced granular fertilizer
Where to Buy Festuca Boulder Blue – www.GreatGardenPlants.com
Delosperma is a tough drought proof groundcover for hot, dry places like curbs and driveways. Hardy Ice Plant is low growing with green succulent foliage and stunning flowers that bloom non-stop all summer long while thriving in heat, humidity and little water.
Given the right spot and growing conditions, it will bloom most of the summer and thrive in your garden.
I hear a lot of feedback from gardeners that have difficult growing and/or overwintering Delosperma. This beautiful ground cover is very, VERY fussy about drainage. If you don’t have SUPER sharp drainage, you should probably opt for growing Sedum or SedumSod – an instant colorful groundcover.
If I were to grow in containers, I would add gravel or cactus to sharpen the drainage in the soil.
Delosperma is ideal for strips along a driveway (where it is often more gravelly) or rock garden. Right plant – right place as the saying goes.
CLICK HERE – for more information
Sedums are long lived, require no maintenance, are easy to grow, have excellent drought tolerance and come in a wide variety of foliage and flower colors.
I love this picture sent in from my friend Bill from Saint Louis. This planting located near a post office consists of a variety of colorful low growing sedums. Brick always reflects heat back up towards plant which just seems to make these tough as nails drought proof groundcover even prettier!
Sedums are probably one of the BEST problem solving plants for tough spots where other plants fail to grow – even on hillsides and banks. The only thing they need is good drainage.
Here are the varieties I would combine to achieve a similar foliage effect:
For even a quicker solution – try SedumSod – an easy mat that installs in seconds!
A real dependable “tough it out” ground cover is Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides). Yes it is a mouthful – but oh what an underutilized ground cover for sun to partly shaded areas (or those transitional areas) that is worth growing in your garden.
If you are looking for a moderate spreader that gives you light glossy foliage that looks nice and tidy throughout the growing season (and helps suppress the weeds) Plumbago is definitely a groundcover to consider looking charming beneath shrubs or as an edging plant.
I really like blue flowers which appear in mid summer just when you need a pop of color for the garden. You’ll get some nice fall color too when the foliage turns to a red coppery bronze color. Give it good drainage, and let it do its thing as it thrives on neglect.
Be patient in spring. Plumbago breaks dormancy later that most plants.
- Botanical: Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
- Common: Plumbago
- USDA – Zone 5-8
- Light: Full sun to part shade. Shade in hot afternoon.
- Size: 6-12 inches tall
- Spread: Moderate spread by rhizomes 1-2 feet wide
- Features: Tolerate clay, sand, drought, part shade, sun, deer,
- Uses: Undemanding groundcover