gardenoma

happy planting.

Garden-pedia

Plant terms can be confusing. If you find yourself a bit perplexed, the glossary below may help. If I have missed any, please let me know.

Happy Planting!


Acidic Soil Soil with a pH of less than 7
   
Alkaline Soil Soil with a pH of greater than 7
   
Amendment Any material, such as compost or lime, that is mixed with existing soil to improve properties
   
Annual Plant that completes its lifecycle in one growing season, then dies
   
Basal Foliage Leaves found near the base of the stem
   
Biennial Plant that completes its lifecylce in two growing seasons, then dies
   
Border A garden, usually containing a variety of plants, that is backed by walls, fences, or taller plants, such as, trees or shrubs
   
Compost Organic material used as a soil amendment
   
Crown Area on a plant where the stem meets the root, generally found at soil level
   
Cultivar Refers to a group of plants within a species that has slightly different characteristics, such as, flower color or size
   
Deadheading Removal of old, spent/dead flowers, may promote reblooming
   
Deciduous Refers to trees and shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, usually in the fall
   
Division The process of splitting up plants, commonly performed on perennials
   
en masse Planting masses of the same plant to create a bold statement
   
Evergreen Plants that retain their foliage for more than one growing season
   
Fertilizer Organic or inorganic material added to the soil to encourage plant growth
   
Groundcover A plant that spreads to cover the soil surface
   
Growth Rate Slow: 3-6" per year, Moderate: 6-12" per year, Fast: 12-24+ per year
   
Habit General form or shape of a plant
   
Hardiness Zone Zones that provide guidelines to measure a plants ability to tolerate hot and cold temperatures
   
Herbaceous Non-woody plant that dies back to the ground every year
   
Invasive Plant A plant that spreads rapidly and may take over a garden bed
   
Loam Soil that is a mixture of clay, sand and silt
   
Mass Planting A planting where large numbers of the same plant are used to provide visual interest
   
Native Plant A plant that naturally occurs in a certain area
   
Node (leaf node) a joint on a plant stem
   
Perennial Plant that survives for 3 or more growing seasons
   
Pinching A technique used to promote fuller or shorter plants, often resulting in more flower heads
   
Rhizome an underground stem
 

Stamen

pollen producing structure, usually found within the center of the flower
Spathe Leaf like structure that encloses the flower
   
Taproot Main root of a plant, usually growing straight down
   
Variegated A plant whose green foliage is marked with another color, usually white or yellow

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plant use border plant

Border Plantings, How To:  

Border plants can decorate a path, edge a sidewalk, or support a focal point.  They can also define property lines and offer privacy.  Landscapes will often feature numerous borders within a single design. Creating a border is not difficult, and many kinds of plants can be utilized in this manner.  The most common borders include the shrub border, perennial border, and mixed border.  The shrub border is predominately composed of a variety of bushes that border a property, helping to create outdoor living spaces, provide privacy, and as a backdrop for flower beds.  Perennial borders are filled with herbaceous plants that die back to the ground in winter, resuming their growth in spring.  Perennials offer gardeners an enormous selection of plant color, form, size, and bloom season.  Mixed borders contain trees and shrubs, inter-planted with perennials.  The blending of height, form, texture, and color, creates a layering effect that is attractive in all seasons.   

Whether creating a mixed, shrub or perennial border, the initial first steps of the design are the same: 

Define your space:  The border garden is typically located against a wall, walkway, or fence.  But, it can also be an island bed.  Island beds have the advantage of being viewed from all sides.    

Sketch out your plan on graph paper or test out possible shapes for your border using a rope or hose.  Determine which plants, if any, you want to remove and which to keep.  Also, take note of any structural elements, such as, air conditioners, fencing, sheds and walls.  What features do you wish to highlight and what needs to be hidden.

What style of garden do you fancy?  Most garden styles fit into one of two categories, formal or informal.  Do you want to follow the natural flow of a landscape with softly curved edges, or do you prefer geometric forms and straight lines?  Browse the different garden styles presented in gardenoma™ and how they are created.  When you have found one you like, keep their guidelines in mind while developing your border.

Determine the amount of light the site receives daily.  Plants have different requirements, some requiring full sun, while others need shade.  Keep the following in mind when choosing your plants:

Assess your soil conditions.   Is your soil clay, loam, or sand?  Does your soil hold moisture or is it on the dry side?  These conditions will determine what plants will thrive, and those not suited, for your site.  Heavy clay or sandy soils will benefit from a two to three inch layer of organic matter, such as compost or leaf mold. 

Choose Plants:  Select plants that meet your needs.  It is easier to create a successful garden if you grow plants matched to your growing conditions.  Use pest and disease resistant varieties when possible, and observe your local hardiness zone.  Plants purchased at your local garden center are going to grow, so when choosing plants, keep in mind their mature height and width.      

Mixed Borders:

Mixed borders are composed of small trees, shrubs, perennials, and ground covers.  Woody plants (trees and shrubs), both deciduous and evergreen, will establish the backbone of your border, and should be planted first.  Create depth by mixing plant heights, starting with low, ground hugging plants at the front edge, adding height in layers as you move toward the back of the bed.  To avoid the stepped look, mix it up just a little, placing a few larger specimens into groupings of shorter plants. Do not forget how the garden will look in winter.  Along with evergreens, choose a few trees or shrubs with attractive bark or structure. Listed below are a few suggestions:  

Shrubs:  azalea, barberry, boxwood, caryopteris, clethra, dogwood shrub, fothergilla, holly, hydrandgea, juniper, lilac, mockorange, ninebark, rhododendron, rose of sharon, shrub rose, spiraea, globe spruce, weigela, viburnum.

Trees:  amur maple, crab apple, crapemyrtle, dogwood, dwarf alberta spruce, dwarf hinoki false cypress, fringe tree, Japanese maple, mountain stewartia, redbud, serviceberry.

Perennials:  choose based on the growing conditions, placing perennials with similar needs next to each other.  Use the gardenoma™ database for plant selection.

Perennial Borders:          

Herbaceous perennials offer a wide variety of color, form, texture and size.  Most are long lived and low maintenance.  Consider using some small to medium shrubs as the supporting backbone to your perennial border.  Shrubs will provide garden interest when the perennials have died back to the ground in winter.  Clethra, hydrangea, ninebark, spiraea, weigela, and shrub roses are all good choices. 

When selecting your perennials consider color and bloom sequence.  If unsure about flower color, check out my article on “Choosing Color”.  You will want your perennial border to produce flowers for the entire growing season, so, select plants with different blooming periods.  A well planned bed will have one or more plants in flower at any given time.  You can also design your perennial bed to highlight fragrance or attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Use the gardenoma™ database for plant selection.

Plant in groups:  the same plant placed in groups of 3 or 5 will provide more visual interest.  Avoid planting just one unless it is large and being used as a focal point.

Repetition:  repeating certain plants or groups of plants though out the garden will unify the space and help draw the eye through the design.

Plant the tallest perennials towards the back of the bed, with mid-size plants in the middle, and short ones along the front edge.  If your garden bed is an island place your highest perennials in the center.  

Shrub Borders:

Shrub borders, sometimes referred to as the foliage border, do not have to depend on flowers for visual impact.  Choose the right plants and you can achieve a lush, layered look that is attractive year round.  Select shrubs and small trees with contrasting color, shape, and texture.  Many plants are available with variegated foliage, as well as, purple, bronze, red, and lime green.  Place larger leafed varieties next to smaller leafed ones, and combine evergreens with deciduous plants.

As with the mixed border, create depth by blending plant heights, starting with low, ground hugging plants at the front edge, adding height in layers as you move toward the back of the bed.  Avoid a rigid look by placing a few larger specimens into groupings of shorter plants.

Trees and shrubs mentioned above for the mixed bed will also work well in the shrub/foliage border.

Planting your border:

Maintenance:

For the first growing season, water weekly, watering more often if it is hot and dry.

                                                                        Happy Planting!

 

 

 

 

53 plants found

filter border plant listings

Barrenwort

type:

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 5 6 7 8

Bearberry

type:shrub

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 2 3 4 5 6

Black Baneberry

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:3-4 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Christmas Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Creeping Wintergreen

type:

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 3 4 5 6

Daffodil

type:bulb / corm / tuber

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7

Dead Nettle

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Glory of the Snow

type:bulb / corm / tuber

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Goldmoss Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Hardy Cyclamen

type:bulb / corm / tuber

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 5 6 7

Hardy Geranium/Cransbill

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:variable

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Honesty/Money Plant

type:biennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Japanese Anemone

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7

Korean Rock Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8

Lady's Mantle

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7

Lily Turf

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8 9

Lungwort

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Mondo Grass

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8 9

Oriental Arborvitae

type:tree

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:20-30 feet

zone: 6 7 8 9 10 11

Painted Arum

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7 8 9

Painted Arum

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7 8 9

Pearly Everlasting

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Poppy Anemone

type:bulb / corm / tuber

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 6 7 8 9

Red Baneberry

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:3-4 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Rockcress

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7

Rockcress

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7

Rockcress

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7

Rusty Foxglove

type:biennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:4-5 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7

Rutgers Dogwood

type:tree

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:20-30 feet

zone: 5 6 7 8

Sedge Grass

type:ornamental grass

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7 8

Serviceberry

type:tree

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:20-30 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Shield Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 4 5 6

Showy Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Snakeroot, Cohosh

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:4-5 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Snowdrop

type:bulb / corm / tuber

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Soft Shield Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7

Spurge

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun

height:4-5 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Spurge

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Straw Foxglove

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Strawberry Foxglove

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:3-4 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

Summersweet

type:shrub

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6-8 feet

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Sweet Woodruff

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8 9

Tassel Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 6 7 8

Two Row Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Western Sword Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:4-5 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8

White Baneberry

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7

Whorled Stonecrop

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun part sun / shade

height:6 inches or less

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Wild Ginger

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:6-12 inches

zone: 4 5 6 7 8

Wood Fern

type:fern

category:border plant

light: shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Wood Spurge

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:12-24 inches

zone: 5 6 7

Woolly Yarrow

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun

height:6-12 inches

zone: 3 4 5 6

Wormwood

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: full sun

height:2-3 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Yellow Foxglove

type:perennial

category:border plant

light: part sun / shade shade

height:2-3 feet

zone: 3 4 5 6 7 8