Creating a border between the lawn and a driveway or pathway in the landscape defines the area. Adding plants to the border heightens the border's eye appeal. Various evergreens, flowering annuals, perennials and ornamental grasses, work well used as border edging plants. Consider the proposed plant's growth habits and environmental requirements, when creating the border area and selecting plants.
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Using ornamental grasses to edge the border gives the area a light and airy feel. Many ornamental grasses act like perennials, so the border will get several seasons use out of them. Some even give the extra bonus of producing flowers, adding more colour to the border. Ornamental grasses working well as border plants include fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), which produces mauve flowers, and miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis Morning Light) blooms in clusters of purple flowers. Belonging in the same family, variegated lily turf (Liriope muscari Variegated) has striped yellow and green foliage and purple flowers and border grass (Liriope muscari) has green foliage, as well as purple flowers.
Flowering perennials add colour with their blooms and help define the bordered area. Some perennials bloom year-round adding a constant display of colour. If using multiple species within the bordered area, select those having the same growth requirements. Use a taller species behind a shorter growing one for a balanced flow. Flowering perennials suitable to use as border plants include Zagreb (Coreopsis verticulata Zagreb), producing yellow, daisy-like flowers in summer and wax begonia (Begonia semperflorens) producing flowers all year. Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) has a mounding habit and blooms with small, purple flowers throughout the year. Blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella) has orange and yellow pinwheel-like flowers spring through fall and society garlic (Tubaghia violancea) has a clumping habit and produces spikes of purple flowers springtime through autumn.
If the bordered area is located in partial to full shade, gardeners require plants tolerant to the conditions. Many plants prefer sunny conditions for proper growth and will not perform well grown in shade. Some shade-tolerant plants not only add greenery, but also add colour with flowers to the bordered area. Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) produces starlike flowers in white, forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris) produces small purple blooms and lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata) produces clusters of pink flowers turning bluish with age. Common periwinkle (Vinca minor) fills with pinwheel-like purple flowers and bromeliads (Bromeliad spp.) blooms periodically throughout the year with flower spikes in a variety of colours.
Flowering annuals used as border plants usually last for one or two of the year's seasons. Gardeners can change out the current annuals with new varieties as the seasons change. This allows a constant display of flowering plants throughout the bordered area all year. Some flowering annuals suitable as border plants include impatiens (Impatiens spp.), which blooms in many different colours and caladium (Caladium x hortulanum), which has brightly coloured foliage spring through fall. Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritime) produces clusters of white, pink or purple flowers throughout winter and petunia (petunia x hybrida) flowers springtime until fall in various colours.
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