Border Planting

Border Planting

Margo’s Manuscripts

Borders to garden beds or rockeries benefit from an edging of low growing plants. Two suitable plants, both of which tolerate a large range of soils types, are the yellow bur daisy (Calotis lappulacea) and the love flower (Pseuderanthemum variabile).

Calotis lappulacea
Photograph by Heather Knowles.

If the area is in full sun, the bur daisy is ideal. It is a perennial herb that forms a low, rounded mound with masses of bright yellow, globular flowers throughout spring and summer. The prickly fruit is a bur that will attach to socks and so it is best not to grow it directly next to pathways. This plant is drought tolerant and is a very fast coloniser. As well as being very attractive it is ideal for regenerating bare and/or skeletal soils particularly in difficult sites.

The love flower demands a different set of environmental conditions – low light, moist areas. This perennial herb is a low, creeping species with dark green lance-shaped leaves that are purple on the underside. It will flourish under shrubs and trees so long as there is adequate water. A relative of the African violet, it too has flowers that range in colour from white through to lilac and purple/blue, sometimes with spots near the middle. The flowers are elongated and terminal. They occur from November through to May and attract butterflies.

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