Favorite Neat Mounding Plants for Sun?

leafy02(6 Central Kentucky)April 6, 2010

In the sunny bed in front of our house, I'm going to add some more perennials. I'm very spoiled by my candytuft and white flowering cranesbill "St. Ola", because they stay so low and tidy and look wonderful even when they aren't in bloom. I also have sedum "Stardust" and white sea thrift.

I'd love to know of others' favorites that might look good in the same kind of way--lowish, neat, tolerant of 75% sun.

If you have a low-growing (under 14 inches, say) perennial that you love for looking neat, and that has white, yellow or blue flowers, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I love to use neat mounding plants in the front of the boarder!

My favorite would be Prunella laciniata, Self Heal. It has lovely purplish flowers in late spring and nice dark green, deeply cut folaige. Stays in a nice mound and gets only a foot tall or so. Cut spent flowers back and it will rebloom, although the heads look nice too!

Other favs:
Teucrium chamaedrys & T. scorodonia 'Crispum'
Oregano rotundifolium 'Kent Beauty'
Lower growing Sedums
Artemisia 'Silver Mound'
Asclepias- butterfly weed
Euphorbia polychroma/epithymoides
Festuca glauca 'Elijah's Blue'
Filipendula vulgaris 'Plena'- dropwort
Geum triflorum 'Prairie Smoke'
Helianthemum
Certain types of Nepeta and Salva
Smaller types of Balloon Flower
Silene diolca 'Clifford Moor'
Zauschineria garrettii 'Orange Carpet'

Okay, looks like I have done enough damage for one day, Lol.
CMK

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 1:15PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Kalimeris Blue Star: neat, easy, ever blooming

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 4:38PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

I guess it would largely depend on how you define "neat mounding"! ;)

In any case, I love many Dianthus for this habit, especially 'Firewitch' for being somewhat longer-blooming than most other varieties. Some varieties would have white (or nearly so) flowers, but not yellow or blue.

Another suggestion would be Campanula 'Samantha' with purple-blue flowers.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 5:38PM
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dyhgarden(7b)

I have this combination along my front walk.

Stachys hummelo has dark green, mounding foliage. It sends up spikes of magenta blooms in spring that are easily cut back. It's evergreen for me.

I planted allium christophii with it this year and both look like they will bloom together for spikes and globes at one time. I'm looking forward to that!

In front of it, I have spring-blooming delosperma cooperii (ice plant) which is mounding and pretty for me all summer with succulent foliage.

Cameron

In this photo, the nandina is gone (the deer ate it):

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 6:45PM
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leafy02(6 Central Kentucky)

Gee, thank you all!

Christinmk, I have tried geum without success in the past, but not in this garden, maybe I should give it another try. I will look for the Prunella; it'll have special meaning for me as I once fostered a terminally ill kitten by that name.

Donnabaskets, those Blue Star do look pretty and have wildflower charm.

Coolplantsguy, so true that one person's "neat" is another person's "mess". Even my sedum were too floppy for me last year, I am going to pinch them back this year to try for neater clumps. I've grown the pink dianthus in previous gardens and had good luck with them bloom-wise but they always got bare and sickly looking in the middle. I have different soil now, so I should give them another try, too.

Wonbyherwits--I put that Stachys in my backyard border last year and I am so happy that it's coming back up. Can't wait to see if it does well for me again. I had no luck with Ice Plant the one time I tried it, but yours looks amazing, and of course your photos are fantastic.

Reading this it looks like I don't have much luck with plants, but I really do. I used to work at a nursery and brought home one of just about everything whether I had the right spot for it or not, and one spring a litter of foster puppies wiped out everything that wasn't wearing spines, so I had a lot of losses and the ice plant and my beloved centaurea were among them. Different house and no pups in the front yard--I know I'll do better this time :-)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 7:50PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Cameron, tell me what conditions your stachys hummelo is in. I have had several plants for several years now and though the foliage is neat, they have never bloomed. Dry? Sandy? ...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:39PM
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dyhgarden(7b)

Those stachys are in the most unusual situation in my garden. They are unusual plants, too! I've been afraid to move them because I really can't tell exactly what is best.

They are facing south. It's a hot spot, but the soil is moist and well-drained. These let me know when they want some water, but make sure you water at the base, not overhead. They did not bloom the first year. It takes at least 3 years to get the blooms here. Mine are just now starting to send up spikes for this spring.

I do wonder if they would be happier in a cooler zone such as 5 or 6.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 2:56PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

Dianthus Greystone has white flowers.
Lady's Mantle has yellowish flowers.
Both are low and mounding, and very "neat".

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:52AM
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leafy02(6 Central Kentucky)

Thanks, Sue36. I loved Lady's Mantle in my last garden--I thought it required more shade than I have here--my mom gave it to me for my shady garden there. Since you listed it, I looked it up and see that it can take full sun. That foliage will make a nice contrast with what's out there, and I love those dewdrops in the morning.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:51PM
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linrose(6b KY)

Definitely for full sun, Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana' is great, stays low growing. Also Salvia 'Marcus' is a compact mounding variety.

Heucheras, especially the purple foliaged varieties will get better color in full sun if kept mulched and not allowed to dry out. 'Amethyst Mist' has been stellar for me, very long lived unlike some others that seem to diminish over time. Some of the hardy geraniums also do very well in full sun. Geranium sanguineum is one that likes sun and stays low and compact although it will spread slowly over time.

Coreopsis

Salvia 'Marcus'

Heuchera 'Stormy Seas'

Heuchera 'Amethyst Mist'

Geranium sanguineum

Geranium sanguineum var. striatum (pale pink)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:26AM
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leafy02(6 Central Kentucky)

Thank you, linrose. I'll keep an eye out for the Nanas. I have an aversion to purple foliage, so no heucheras for me.

I love all the geraniums so much I really think I could fill the whole space with them, but I haven't found any that are as blue as I want that are low. It seems the bluer ones are all a bit taller and blowsy, and the pinker varieties are the ones with the shape I want.

I did add some small campanulas (Birch Hybrid) for blue on one side of the walk; I'm looking forward to seeing how they do.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:17PM
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