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7 Best Plants for Edging Walkways and Borders

Last week we talked about growing a hedgerow as a border for your garden, but what if you want a low border instead? Whether you're going for polished, whimsical, or something in between, these seven plants are great choices for edging garden beds and walkways of all styles. 

 

1. Bath's Pink Dianthus

Bath's Pink, also known as cheddar pink, is an evergreen, mat-forming dianthus. Under a foot tall and about the same in width, Bath's Pink is not only drought-tolerant, but also handles heat and humidity well compared to other varieties.

The evergreen foliage of Bath's Pink is blue-green in color and grassy in shape. In spring, it blooms with small, fragrant pink flowers, adding not only visual interest to your garden paths but a pleasing scent as well. Deadhead the plants to encourage more blooms.

 

2. Coreopsis Moonbeam

At 1-2' tall, Coreopsis Moonbeam provides a slightly taller border plant for your garden. This perennial plant, a type of tickseed, blooms all season with pale yellow flowers, attracting butterflies and other pollinators. The blooms are also perfect for cut flower arrangements!

Moonbeam grows well in poor soil, including sandy or rocky areas. Try it out in a rock garden or along a sandy path, and remember to remove spent blooms regularly to keep it blooming until the first frost.

 

3. Geranium Rozanne

A perennial geranium with light purple flowers that bloom all season and into fall, Geranium Rozanne also has higher heat tolerance than most geraniums and can thrive in full sun or partial shade. In fall, the foliage turns from a deep green to a reddish color, even while the plant continues to bloom.

Geranium Rozanne can reach 20" tall and 24" wide at maturity and is deer-resistant. In hotter climates, cut back the plants in summer to rejuvenate them for more blooms. This variety was the PPA Perennial Plant of the Year in 2008.

 

4. Variegated Liriope

If you're looking for a border plant where the foliage is the star, the Variegated Liriope is an excellent option. This semi-evergreen plant has long, grass-like, variegated leaves that are dark green down the middle and a lighter, yellow-green on the edges. Also known as lilyturf, this liriope blooms in late summer with stalks of small, dark purple flowers.

Variegated Liriope can reach 18" tall and a spread of up to 3'. It does best in shady spots, bringing some bright color to shaded pathways. As a bonus, the plant's flowers develop berries at the end of the season, which provide food for birds in the winter.

 

5. Tiny Tot Thuja

A North American native, Tiny Tot Thuja is an evergreen shrub that won't be available in garden centers until next spring. Growing 1-2' tall with a bushy, rounded shape, this is one cute plant! Use it as a boxwood alternative for defining borders in your garden or as an attention-grabbing walkway edge.

Tiny Tot Thuja does best in part sun and well-drained soil. Since it's an evergreen, it will keep its shape all year long, providing welcome visual interest in the winter months.

 

6. Lil' Ditty Dwarf Viburnum

Looking for something a little different? The fragrant, puffball-like clusters of white flowers found on the Lil' Ditty Dwarf Viburnum might be just the thing for your garden. This dwarf viburnum is another North American native, and its spring blooms are the perfect compliment to its bright green tapered leaves.

Lil' Ditty Dwarf Viburnum reaches 1-2' tall and does best in moist, well-drained soil, but it's adaptable to less ideal conditions as well. This eye-catching plant prefers full sun to partial shade.

 

7. Dark Blue Moody Blues Veronica

Another plant that blooms all season long, from spring all the way until the first frost, Dark Blue Moody Blues Veronica features spikes of small, dark blue flowers on long stems. Reaching a height of 1-2' tall, it also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, making it an excellent border for wildlife gardens.

This popular Veronica variety, also known as the Spike Speedwell, does best in rich, well-drained soil and full sun. Once established, Dark Blue Moody Blues Veronica is a mostly hands-off perennial that can survive winters up to zone 4. Deadheading will promote new blooms, but the plant doesn't need much attention otherwise.

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