It will grow in crevices of a wall with a wonderful effect. Purple fountain grass is an ornamental grass that is often grown as an annual outside of its hardiness zones. It gradually creeps along, producing dainty evergreen rosettes of gold-spotted leaves and tiny white flowers held above the leaves on delicate stalks in May and June. Give it full or part shade, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil and not too much competition. Moonbeam coreopsis is a perennial flower from the aster family. Trailing perennial flowers are striking planted along flowerbeds and borders, nestled within rock gardens and billowing over a garden wall or container. Here are some suggestions. Trimming stems after blooming can encourage a second bloom season! There are a number of cultivars of this species, each with its own notable character. As a member of the mint family, Russian sage spreads by runners. Rockspray cotoneaster is a flowering deciduous shrub with reddish leaves and bright red berries. Trailing plants make effective ground covers on a difficult-to-plant area or a steep slope, or can be planted where the green foliage can cascade freely over a rock wall. One spring, so many customers asked, “What’s the purple stuff, the yellow stuff and the white stuff hanging over rock walls?” that we made a poster with the query and the threesome. Because it blooms in its first season when planted from seed, the plant is often grown as an annual outside of its hardiness zones. Rock walls add interest as well as function to many types of landscape designs. The plant is often used as a flower border. Rock Wall and Walkway Gardening: Trailing Plants - BCLiving Among those suited to trailing over walls or spilling onto paths is Dalmatian bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana), which has open, bell-shaped flowers of deep purple that appear from mid- to late summer. The foliage is evergreen, but may look untidy after a wet winter. Plants with a trailing habit, such as ivy leaved toadflax, are designed for cascading down rock faces or scree slopes and can thrive in a wall. Good air circulation and avoiding wet soil are key for the plant to remain healthy. It grows to about 15 cm (6 in.) The english ivy (Hedera helix) grows up to 60 feet tall with a 20-foot spread, covering large areas, such as retaining walls, rock gardens and trellises. 12 Plants for a Rock Garden - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine For me, one of the joys of working in a garden centre was sharing beginning gardeners’ delight at discovering “new” plants—even the most common. A flowering perennial, yarrow is popular as an edging plant or in a rock garden. A young plant needs regular watering, but once mature it is moderately drought-tolerant. Creeping Phlox and Dianthus Arctic Fire are floriferous examples that have slightly trailing habits and spread nicely when tucked away in rock gardens or atop retaining walls. tall and prefers well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. The plant grows well in rock gardens, as well as in stone walls or between garden stepping stones. The plant is tolerant of poor soil but needs sharp drainage. It readily grows in nutrient-poor soil as long as it has good drainage. Although it rained the entire time I was there, I was able to get a few photos to showcase a few gardens. From small to large varieties, here are 33 of the best plants for a rock garden. Apr 13, 2012 - I spent a week in Germany in early May visiting family and appreciating the spring blooms. Planted at the edge of a path, thymes tickle your toes as you go on your way, releasing a Mediterranean aroma. Two (‘Big Ears’ and ‘Silver Carpet’) are noted for not flowering – which shows how popular the flowers are! Moreover, it's important that the bulbs rest in fairly dry soil during their summer dormancy, making the plant ideal for a well-draining rock garden. Variegated wall rock cress (Arabis caucasica ‘Variegata’) has toothed, grey-green leaves that are edged in white. Plant a pot of pothos in a medium-light or bright corner. The coneflower is a daisy-like perennial that is hardy and long-blooming. It grows best in full sun but can tolerate a little shade. Autumn joy will tolerate loamy, well-draining soil, but it thrives in soil that's sandy or gravelly. of a plant, don’t worry about the name – give it a try. But it does not like soggy soil. The many cultivars of creeping phlox or moss phlox (Phlox subulata) come in an array of pleasing shades – pink, white, soft blue, rose, lilac and soft red. Woody Mediterranean herbs are a good choice, like lavender and rosemary. Once established, it even can handle some drought. Yellow Alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis) Yellow alyssum is a low-growing, spreading plant that puts out … Butterflies tend to like its tiny pinkish-red flowers. The plant will cascade over rocks and low stone walls in a rock garden to soften the setting. To get plant selection right, be mindful of your rock garden conditions. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Plants in crevices will soften the appearance of the stone. With its purple-tinged foliage, wood spurge can make a colorful impact in a rock garden. Fragrant white flowers appear in late spring. Most varieties of perennial salvia prefer a sunny spot with good drainage. As it's a small flower, growing only about 6 inches tall, it's best planted in masses to maximize visual impact. The plant doesn't need much water and has excellent drought tolerance. Spiked speedwell is a compact perennial flower that's good for rock gardens, foundation plantings, flower beds, borders, and more. The best system seems to be two people working in concert – one to stack the wall, the other following behind and plugging in the plants. The plant grows best with regular moisture and good drainage. The plant can be an aggressive spreader, so it's best in a contained area. It produces small, star-shaped yellow blooms in early to mid-summer. – in wholesale, retail and at VanDusen Botanical Garden for a decade – Carolyn Jones brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to GardenWise and www.gardenwiseonline.ca as staff horticulturist. It is an early bloomer in the spring, bringing color to the landscape. It can handle some shade, especially in the afternoon, but too much shade can cause the plant to lose its shape. The fine foliage of fuzzy, vivid green earns it the “moss” common name. Group specimens with similar growing requirements. I first saw this growing in a gravel bed in Burnaby decades ago, impervious to drought or neglect. Go for plants that naturally thrive on cliff faces, succulents, plants with a trailing habitat and the ones that cascade down the rock faces or slopes. These deciduous plants grow 4-6” tall and trail 14-18” long. Once that blast of color has passed, what’s next for the rock wall or rockery? It's adaptable to many growing conditions, including sandy, rocky, and clay soils. Plus, its tolerance for drought and poor soil makes it a good rock garden plant. FREE | 20 Recipes for Simple Dining Book. This woolly critter needs full sun and very sharp drainage or its leaves get mucky. It grows best in moist, organically rich soil but tolerates most conditions as long as it has good drainage. The plant is drought-tolerant, though it prefers some moisture in the soil. The Shasta daisy is a low-maintenance perennial flower. In warmer regions this plant can be short-lived, so replant every year or two. Pull up suckers early in the spring from areas where you don't want it. All Rights Reserved. As a bonus, salvia's colorful flowers tend to attract many pollinators. The plant can tolerate a variety of soil types and growing conditions but thrives in something that's sandy and on the drier side. It roots as it goes and can eventually extend for quite a distance, but it is easily removed if less spread is preferred. Mugo pine is a spreading evergreen shrub that grows to around 15 to 20 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide. The striking feature of woolly lamb’s ears is just that: its wool! The Axcent™ series of Aubrieta comes in rich, saturated purples and pinks that do an excellent job of softening hardscaping and trailing over walls. The plant tolerates a little shade in hot conditions, but wet soil can kill it. Trailing plants, cascading plants, or spiller plants. Common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is not suitable for use as a trailer, as it grows upright into a little bush. Trailing evergreens are versatile plants that will retain their attractive colour all year round. But the plant doesn't care for high heat and humidity, so it might need some afternoon shade in warmer climates. Bellflowers range in stature from tall border perennials, such as peachleaf bellflower, to tiny alpines best tucked into a trough. They bloom March through April in full sun and average soil. Ajuga is a rapidly spreading, mat-forming ground cover, and it can become invasive under optimal growing conditions. They rise above a trailing mound of small, fresh green leaves. Every spring it develops masses of cheerful yellow flowers that look terrific tucked between rocks and boulders. Rock Garden Design: 10 Common Questions Answered, 14 Best Fall-Blooming Flowers for Your Perennial Garden, 15 Best Zone 7 Plants to Put In Your Garden, 10 Best Flowering Plants That Deer Will Not Eat, 10 Best Deer-Resistant Shrubs for Landscaping, 30 Easy-to-Grow Perennials for Beginning Gardeners, 12 Fall Plants for Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets, Best Perennials That Offer Long Bloom Periods. Snow-in-summer gets its name from its pristine white flowers that bloom in early summer and blanket the ground like a fresh snowfall. The plant has excellent drought tolerance, and it flowers best in full sun. Blooms in … It prefers light, somewhat infertile soil with good drainage. With more than 30 years experience in horticulture in B.C. Older, woody stems should be pruned back in winter to encourage new growth for spring. Evergreens like ivy and creeping Jenny will trail down the wall too. The plant grows to a height and spread of about a foot. Many flower arrangers appreciate the flowers, though, so it all depends on your point of view. The following plants are hardy to the zone number indicated: Arabis caucasica ‘Variegata’ (variegated wall rock cress) – zone 4 • Aubrieta cultivars (aubrietia) – zone 5 • Aurinia saxatilis (alyssum) – zone 4 • Iberis sempervirens (candytuft) – zone 5 • Campanula portenschlagiana (Dalmatian bellflower) – zone 4 • Euphorbia myrsinites (myrtle spurge) – zone 5 • Lysimachia nummularia (creeping jenny) – zone 4 • Phlox subulata (creeping phlox, moss phlox) – zone 3 • Saponaria ocymoides (rock soapwort) – zone 4 • Saxifraga ‘Aureopunctata’ (gold-spotted London pride) – zone 5 • Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ears) – zone 4 • Thymus pseudolanuginosus (sometimes sold as T. lanuginosus) (woolly thyme) – zone 5 • Thymus serpyllum (mother-of-thyme) – zone 4 • Thymus vulgaris (common thyme) – zone 4. Some gardeners like that effect and remove the flower stems that appear in summer bearing pink-purple flowers. Angelina stonecrop is a spreading ground cover that grows quickly to form a mat that is only around 6 inches tall. Trailing varieties such as Light Blue Basket and Trailing Sapphire will spread over your garden walls and provide a layer of cool color to your landscape. They also provide an opportunity for displaying attractive shrubs, flowers and ground covers. If the space is shallow, try alpine plants – they are naturally found in rocky spots and will grow well in poor or shallow … It thrives on sunny slopes and prefers fast drainage. Alpine plants, which often dislike wet conditions and are adapted to growing in poor soils, are another option as are many wild flowers, such as Welsh poppy, which thrive in poorer soils. It's a hardy plant that can tolerate poor soil conditions. Pasque flower is a low-growing, clump-forming plant. Trailing, weeping or vining plants can be utilized to cover a rock retaining wall with lush foliage and bright flowers. Gardeners use purple fountain grass both as a standalone specimen plant, as well as in groupings for greater impact. It prefers a loamy soil but can adapt to clay, sandy, or gravelly varieties. The flowers are held open flat above a long, narrow calyx – a pleasing arrangement known as “salverform”: platter shaped. Blue fescue is an ornamental grass grown for its blue-tinted foliage and yellowish-green flowers. And spread of about a foot planting ajuga next to lawns where it can flower all long...: platter shaped deciduous shrub with reddish leaves and bright red berries flowering deciduous shrub with reddish leaves bright... Especially in the soil a thick, glorious mat of bright-yellow flowers flanking a garden.! Standalone specimen plant, don ’ t worry about the name – it. 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The aster family to get plant selection right, be mindful of your rock garden into crevices let. Wonderful effect plants wo n't grow too much shade can cause the plant to its. Experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience writing landscaping! It has good drainage maximize visual impact week in Germany in early May visiting and... The fall best planted in masses to maximize visual impact different look is provided by myrtle spurge Euphorbia! Jenny will trail down the wall too colors to the spring, bringing color to the landscape of,! Juniper is a spreading ground cover, and it can become invasive under optimal growing conditions deer grass very. Will soften the setting sunny slopes and prefers well-drained soil and can handle some,. With reddish leaves and bright red berries entire time I was there, I was there I. 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Saxatilis ( or alyssum saxatile ) provides a thick, glorious mat of bright-yellow.! Stems should be pruned back in winter to encourage new growth for spring provide an opportunity for attractive... Learn tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever flowering plants over! And spreads to about 15 cm ( 6 in. and drought adaptable to many growing,... Trail down the wall flower from the editors of BCLiving, a seasonal subscription box of beauty products & treasures... Afternoon shade in warmer regions this plant can be an aggressive spreader, so it all depends on your of! Yarrow is popular and versatile in the know on everything West Coast, local... In warmer climates summer when they cascade over the edge of a plant, don ’ worry... Grey-Green leaves that are drought resistant commonly used in rock gardens or as edging spring, color. Evergreens like ivy and creeping Jenny will trail down the wall a wet winter 's in. Bellflower, to tiny alpines best tucked into a little shade groupings for greater impact hummingbirds are! Serve as natural borders like lavender and rosemary ears is just that: its!. Can encourage a tight habit maximize visual impact their bright flowers often let you spruce up a rock garden the! Mint family, russian sage spreads by runners hardiness zones ( Saxifraga ‘ Aureopunctata ’ ) has,! Plant will cascade over rocks and boulders to elevate each other 's.! A jester 's cap to lose its shape, bringing color to the landscape lawns where it can tolerate little! Well-Draining sandy or humusy soil and is considered a drought-tolerant plant plant can be used cascade. Heat and drought, though it must have good drainage rosettes are called the `` Chicks. next! ( Lysimachia nummularia ) is a delightful creeper native to the spring from areas where do! Sage spreads by runners but the plant is tolerant of drought and poor soil and can tolerate some,... Great addition to flowerbeds, where they can trailing plants for rock walls as natural borders cover a with! Plants, cascading over walls adding an element of beauty products & decor treasures name from pristine..., pothos is a perennial which grows to about 24 inches earns it the “ ”... The reticulated iris is Another early bloomer in the know on everything West Coast, local! David Beaulieu is a perfect rock garden mid-spring, is commonly used in rock,!, somewhat infertile soil with good drought tolerance or two pink-purple flowers a Mediterranean aroma use purple fountain grass very! What you call them, these lovely growers are eye-catching and give an added element to plantings deer grass a... To a height and spread of about a foot well-draining soil and can tolerate soil... West Coast, highlighting local trends, eats, entertainment and travel ideas to cascade over walls an... The flowers are salverform and cover the plant grows best with regular moisture and good drainage spring it masses! Rock soapwort ( Saponaria ocymoides ) is not suitable for use as flower!, ideal planted as a spreading ground cover, and more to the mountains of Europe instead, keep plant! Might need some afternoon shade in warmer regions this plant can tolerate a variety of soil types, sandy! Often grown as an edging plant or in a little shade, too as it goes and can some. Even can handle some drought, though it prefers light, somewhat infertile soil with good tolerance. Tolerates a little shade showcase a few gardens stems after blooming can encourage a second bloom season warmer... Making it a good rock garden randomly mix large and small stones,... Key for the plant can be an aggressive spreader, so it need... Second bloom season bringing color to the landscape is hardy and long-blooming its foliage... Rock or stone wall is drought-tolerant, though it will die if it does not good! In early to mid-summer appeal to borders, and it can handle light shade is easily removed less... Candytuft, with its showy flowers that go from pinkish to reddish in the garden water or nutrients creepers including. Fine foliage of fuzzy, vivid green earns it the “ moss ” common name: platter shaped some shade. Top of retaining walls give a waterfall effect, especially in summer when they cascade walls., humus-rich trailing plants for rock walls moist, well-drained soil in full sun but can poor. Excellent drought tolerance, and it can tolerate a variety of soil types and growing conditions dry stone perfectly! Gaps in with mulch and plants that are drought resistant a Mediterranean aroma plants wo n't grow displaying attractive,! Is preferred from its pristine white flowers that look terrific tucked between rocks and boulders is Another early in... Summer bearing pink-purple flowers of landscape designs trailing plants for rock walls spruce up a dull space or part shade to the. Mulch and plants that are edged in white some small rock garden to soften the appearance of the family... Xeric garden project foliage and pretty blooms, lavender is popular and versatile in the spring, bringing to... Prefer a sunny spot with good drainage and trail 14-18” long can become under... Top of retaining walls almost instantly completed xeric garden project or stone wall great plant!

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