10 best plants for edging your flower beds

Just like there are many different trims, base boards and crown moldings for your house you can also find many materials for edging your flower beds. Some people like the look of natural rock or slate while others will choose to use prefabbed stone, brick or plastic edging. Even if you leave it natural with grass edged out at the edge of your flower beds there is nothing like plants to soften and naturalize a border.

Depending on the scale of your flower bed will determine what size plants will look good as a border. If you are dealing with an acreage or commercial site with larger deep beds that may be off in the distance then such plants like spreading junipers, Berberis, Buxus, smaller Cornus varieties, Genista, Dwarf Hydrangea, Potentilla, Sorbaria (Sem variety), dwarf Syringa and Weigela would work best. From here you will plant behind with larger shrubs, evergreens and trees so your smallest plants are in the front and then they get taller towards the back.

In a more urban residential area where flower beds are smaller and often range in depths with narrower beds closer to the house and larger beds around the outside perimeter, perennials can offer you the best bang for your buck. Perennials give you a wide range of colour, height, leaf texture and spreading capabilities as well as, you plant them once and done, saving on cost over time compared to annuals which need to be purchased and planted every year. They can be planted in smaller quantities with a larger selection of varieties like in an English garden, or as a row, close to the edge to define the border. This can run from start to finish of a flower bed for a very uniform look or you can have it change along the way emphasizing curves to show a pattern. Not always, but usually, these plants are planted closer together to end up with a single plant look that flows along the edge. Some great variety choices are: Ajuga, Perennial Alyssum, Arabis, Armeria, Aubrieta, Bergenia, Campanula, Delosperma, Dianthus, Euphorbia, Perennial Geranium, Hemerocallis, Heuchera, Hosta, Iris, Lamium, Lavandula, Monarda, Phlox, Primula, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Thymus, Veronica, Vinca and Viola. Honestly, once you start looking at these plants you will soon realize there was no way I could pick just 10. Many of these come in multiple colours and slightly different heights depending on your border design.

If wanting the most colour in your border for the longest period of time, then annuals may be for you. The colour trend changes every year (2019 plant Pantone colour of the year is Living Coral) and this will allow you to keep up with new trends and stay ahead of the Jones’s, if that is your desired outcome. Annuals will add both a yearly cost and extra work to your garden which you will need to plan into your yearly garden budget. Some great annual border plants are Ageratum, Begonia, Calibrachoas, Geranium, Impatiens, Lobelia, Marigolds, Petunia, Verbena, and Zinnias. Every year there are new colours and variations so worth asking at your local garden center what is new for this year.

Happy Gardening!

 

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 Guest post by Rich - Bylands Account Representative

As a born and raised Calgarian, I am very happy to see how passionate southern Alberta gardeners are and how they deal with changing temperatures and Chinook conditions. With a rough start to my 30 year plus horticulture career, with my parents telling me to get a summer job at a local garden center, it has turned into a lifelong passion. I presently enjoy working for Bylands Nursery helping retailers and working in my own garden with my wife, daughter and not so helpful German Shepherd/Husky cross, Georgia Peach, named after the perennial (Coral Bells).