Sunday, April 8, 2012
Underplanting and Groundcovers: Some Examples of Their Uses
Here we have a faux rusty heron "underplanted with daylilies and gayfeather. This particular gayfeather is most likely the liatris 'Kobold'. Although the daylily and liatris are hardly natives they give that visual effect.
Here lambs ear stachys 'Helen von Stein' in the foreground and calamintha 'White Cloud' at the mid-range edge a sidewalk path. The species lambs ear is a bit more hardy here in central Wisconsin. This picture is from the Olbrich Garden about 100 miles south and a nearly a zone warmer. The regular lambs ear will bloom, unlike 'Helen von Stein'. The bees do love its pink blooms and it does make a good companion plant for roses as well.
Another picture of the 'Helen von Stein'. Notice the broader leave, a rademark of this selection. Here it give structure to the riot that can be annual nicotiana. The lambs ear brings its color and rhythym to the task of fronting the border.
In this picture, we get a bit better look at the white, frothy, and deer-resistant calamintha edging a path.
Underplantings and ground covers like good clean bed lines are a hallmark of a well-pulled together flower border. They can balance a color scheme, and pull together the most inconceivable collection of plant. Their rhythmatic appearance can lead the eye. If scented, rubbing by them can bring enjoyment of a garden to a whole other sensory level. Ideally they can cover the ground thickly enough that other plants, primarily weeds, have a hard time competing, making the gardener's life a bit easier.