Poll: What To Plant Along The Sidewalk?
There’s a flower border along my front sidewalk. I’m not satisfied with it.
The issue is what to plant up against the sidewalk, between the Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) at one end and the Monarda, Short’s Aster (Aster shortii), and Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) at the other.
It needs to be something relatively low-growing. When I first put in the border, I filled the spot with Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum).
But then I saw the River of Salvia at the Lurie Garden in Downtown Chicago, which looked like this.
I wanted my own River of Salvia, so I pulled out the Wild Geranium and put in various Salvias. What I got looked like this, more of a stream or sanitary canal of Salvia.
Not bad, but not the same. Now I’m feeling dissatisfied with the Salvia. It gets kind of floppy and untidy looking. I like informal gardens which involve a fair amount of untidiness. However, there’s the right kind of untidiness and the wrong kind. How can I tell the difference? I just can.
Also, the Salvias don’t have a very long bloom period.
So I’m thinking I would move the Salvias to the parkway across the sidewalk. They should grow happily among the Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) and other low groundcovers there.
For the Salvia replacement, I have three main criteria: blue (or close) flowers, low-growing, and a reasonably long bloom time. I should mention that behind this spot (to the north) there are Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ and ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Also, I’m going to be transplanting two Phlox paniculata ‘David’ from another location where they are obscured.
So right now I’m considering the following replacements.
Geranium ‘Brookside’ or ‘Johnson’s Blue’. One advantage of this choice is that I already have a big clump of ‘Johnson’s Blue’ in a nearby spot, so this could provide some good repetition.
Lavender ‘Lavance Purple’ (Lavandula angustifolia). This is supposed to be a low-growing lavender, just 12″. However, I wonder if the soil here is too moist and rich – I’d like to plant some lavender, but it may be happier in the parkway, where conditions are more challenging.
Dalmatian Bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana). Low-growing, long blooming. Can’t think of a downside.
Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Scabiosa columbaria). Love the pincushion flowers. Only thing is, I wonder if the Switchgrass will throw too much shadow. Hmm … that could be an issue for the lavender, too.
So what do you think? Please take the poll (my very first poll!), then explain your answer with a comment.