12 Charming Ways to Make Your Small Front Porch Pop
By Ed Ball | Published on July 01, 2020 | 2 min read
Choosing the perfect edging for your garden is similar to finding the perfect frame for a beautiful painting – it just gives it the right finishing touch. In a landscape, edging plants can also work to unify spaces, create a cohesive theme, and make the total landscape feel woven together.
Whether you want a formal finish to your beds or a more soft, colorful look, there are many options in our region. Additionally, you should determine if you are planting for a sunny or shady area, have issues managing water requirements, and if you want something evergreen or seasonal. The truth is that dozens of plants can create beautiful edges, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
A plant commonly used in our region to create a live edge is Monkey Grass, otherwise known as liriope, Mondo Grass, or border grass. These grasses are actually in the lily family, which is why you may also hear them referred to as lilyturf. While different varieties are available, the habits are similar with thick, evergreen grasses showing off flowers in July and August. The perennial clumping plant provides a soft border with the plant growing 10 to 18 inches tall.
Another flowering border plant is Lavender, which has the added benefit of providing aromatic leaves and flowers that can be cut or enjoyed where they grow. They are often planted along walkways so that the fragrance can be roused when garden travelers brush their spiky stalks. Many varieties are perennials in our region and blooming times can span several months. Lavender is also a favorite of bees and butterflies and does well when dried.
The most formal choice is Boxwood, an evergreen that can be easily shaped and maintained as low, uniform hedge lining garden beds and walkways. Boxwood can be maintained at different heights to provide just the right shape for the space it frames.
A popular alternative to Boxwood is Japanese Holly, or Ilex, which provides year-round color in a shape-friendly hedge. Ilex is an evergreen and produces red berries, adding a little color in the landscape and adding texture to the hedgerow.
If you have a shady spot, consider edging with Hostas. These broad-leafed, mounding plants provide texture with softness at the edge of a bed or walkway. These perennial plants go dormant in the winter, but most are vigorous growers and flower in the summer months. They are as gorgeous bordering a wooded area as they are edging a front entrance.
Spring is so beautiful in our region that you may want to compliment flowering trees in your yard with the flowering edging of Creeping Phlox, or Moss Phlox. This perennial puts on a great show in April and May with dense flowers and also loves full sun while tolerating bad soil conditions.
There are also a number of annual flowers that make stunning, colorful edging in your landscape. Begonias, marigolds, zinnias, and impatiens all boast long summer blooming seasons. Each comes in multiple color patterns to compliment any design. Begonias and impatiens prefer less intense sun, while marigolds just might help keep the bunnies away. Their dependable shape and low maintenance growing habits require only regular watering to ensure they look their best well into the fall.