Gravel driveway edge

casolorz(6a)January 18, 2013

I have about 700 linear feet of gravel driveway which I would like to add an edge to in order to keep the gravel and the grass yard separate. I have looked at doing a concrete edge but now I am leaning towards separating the gravel and grass with some plants instead.

The idea started when we saw a similar separation done with some beautiful ferns however this was done in a tropical country and I don't know if it would work here (Kansas zone 6a).

My driveway is full sun, and I mean all day. It does have irrigation. I have one small spot where water accumulates and could be trouble but I plan on doing something about draining that area somehow before doing this. The soil is clay, but I don't have a problem with bringing better soil and/or doing treatments.

So here is what I want to know, what are some pretty evergreen perennials which are fairly short (I would say 2 feet and lower) that I can use. Because of the length it would be ideal if it was a plant that I can easily grow from cuttings, or splitting, or even from seed. I think the ideal plant we would use for the whole driveway and every so often we would add some nice feature. For example on the driveway we saw that had ferns, they had some nice roses of sharon every so often, and other tropical plants, it looked great, but the ferns were the main thing and covered the entire driveway edge. I am not opposed to using some sort of succulent if evergreen, or some short bamboo (although I'm scared of it spreading wildly) or some sort of ornamental grass (but I would really prefer if I didn't have to cut it at the beginning of the spring).

Ideas?

Thank you.

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PKponder TX(7b)

Can you grow mondo grass in your zone? They are evergreen here but get brown edges in winter. You can mow it in the spring to keep them fresh looking. I divide mine every two or three years. My goal is to hold mulch in a sloped bed (and off of the driveway) and they are effective for that purpose and I like the way they frame the driveway.

Pam

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:01PM
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ja-gardener(5)

I would consider ornamental grasses as the main plant species since it is full sun. There are some smaller ones such as Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) that might work. You could include some taller ones as an accent every 8 feet or so. You could also include a conifer or different type of plant as an accent. The full sun next to the driveway is going to require a tough plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant groups

This post was edited by ja-gardener on Fri, Jan 18, 13 at 22:28

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:23PM
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casolorz(6a)

pkponder -I was looking at some of the mondo grasses, black mondo looked pretty interesting, and they do grow around here, I just have no idea how they do during the winter but I like the idea of just being able to mow over it in the spring.

ja-gardener - yes I am looking into ornamental grasses, but I'm just concerned about having to cut 700 feet worth of it in the spring, but like pkponder said, maybe I can just mow it.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:29PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

ja-gardener brought up a good point about full sun that I totally missed in your original post. I have a shady yard. Mondo grass really burns in full sun. Liriope may work if you are looking for a monoculture and don't mind watering. I actually can envision the pretty border that ja-gardener suggested also. Most ornamental grasses are pretty drought tolerant.

Pam

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 8:31PM
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casolorz(6a)

Watering doesn't worry me much, I have sprinklers there and if needed can even do drip, I have some liriope but I just don't know how well that much liriope would look over the winter.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 11:08PM
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