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Old 05-21-2013, 10:19 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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I have a strip of soil between the concrete pool deck and chain link fence which I would like to plant with a summer-blooming perennial. It is about 15" wide by 36' long, in full sun. I would like something which will spread quickly to fill in the gaps between plants. Suggestions?
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
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You might try cone flowers and/or daylillies. Both are perennial, love the sun, both will spread and bloom the first year planted. Also, black eyed susans are good in the sun and all will stay blooming throughout the summer and into the fall.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:33 AM
 
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Forget daylilies. they bloom and then they're history for the season. Even rebloomers aren't very impressive after the first bloom.

I say this all the time and will repeat it here. That is an extremely tiny space. Do not overplant. You have room for five plants, tops. If I were looking for perennials for a spot like this, I'd put in some perennial blue salvias (either May Night or Caradonna) and some Threadleaf Coreopsis, either Moonbeam or Zagreb. The coreopsis bloom yellow and can be sheared back to rebloom. The salvias do the same and are blue or blue-violet. Coneflowers are very nice too. I would steer clear of blackeyed susans (Rudbeckia) simply because the foliage is so prone to ratty looking fungal diseases in summer into fall.

Another nice choise is perennial Butterfly Weed, which is orange, absolutely gorgeous with the blue salvias.

If you're not fussed about having color in that spot, one upright ornamental grasslike Calamagrostis "Karl Foerster' flanked by two Russian sage plants (the smaller one that stays below 24") would be nice.

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/co...rge/27550A.jpg
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:40 AM
 
Location: SW MO
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Five plants in 36 feet of length? Maybe you misread the dimensions....I have daylillies in another bed and have not been impressed with the bloom. Lots of foliage, but minimal flowering. We already have several maidengrass and zebra grass out there, so really would like color.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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Your description of the location and what you want makes the answers one big guessing game. How tall or short did you have in mind? Did you want a single plant that when repeated fills in the entire strip or did you want a mixed border look? Will you water this at all? Does it get splashed on? If it is close enough to your pool the type of pool will change the conditions of your soil- either the pH will be alkaline (above 7) or it will be salty, and in a few cases both. Not all plants thrive in those conditions. Add baking hot soil from being next to the cement and it is not the most hospitable area for many flowering plants.

As Tina says that is a very narrow strip, but 36 feet will certainly mean more than 5 plants, especially if you don't want anything large or tall. No perennial tends to bloom for the entire season from spring through frost but a few might bloom more than others.


If you want a spreading plants that spreads out and self seeds a little but doesn't get very tall and blooms on and off you can pick from several plants in the dianthis family. Any of the "Pinks" in the family will generally be good, a very popular cultivar is Fire Witch (Feurhexe). They don't get any taller than about 8 inches with flowers. Another easy to grow perennial that could fill in nicely over a couple of years are Cranesbill. They can get as tall as 24 inch mounds but many varieties tend to stay in the 1 foot or so size. They bloom from late spring into early fall.

Taller perennials that may tolerate the conditions near a pool would include echinacea which if not deadheaded often will seed themselves and some salvia (not the annual). Both will bloom for most of the season.

If you like annuals that reseed one that can be used is cosmos another would be nasturtium. Even varying sizes of marigold could work but only some seem to reseed well.

A shrubby perennial that is as tough as nails and will have pretty yellow blooms is St. John's Wort.

Without a more clear picture of conditions and size requirement that is about all the suggestions that can be made.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:52 AM
 
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Oops, I read that as 36 inches, sorry! My suggestions still stand, but with more plants.

Never plant a shrub of any kind in a strip that narrow. That's like buying a puppy crate for a big dog.

I think a series of Karl Foerster grasses interplanted with perennial salvias, coreopsis, coneflowers, butterfly weed -- that would be gorgeous. The grasses provide a vertical element and move beautifully with the wind, and they provide winter beauty because you don't cut them back until spring. You will have bees and butterflies -- lovely! You will have a beautiful variety of texture and form, two very important elements of a good design.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:17 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
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Another good one is yarrow--it thrives in full sun, grows in tall clumps, and isn't too prissy looking for around a pool. Needs hardly any attention and will spread. It comes in different colors like white, yellow, rust--you could combine a mixture of colors. Once it blooms, you can cut it down and it will come right up again and bloom some more. Blooms all summer long. No trouble at all.

Cone flowers are good too. They are tall and pinkish-purple.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
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I have had really good luck with gaillardias, purple cone flowers, and shasta daisies in full sun like that and they come back year after year. Those all really look good together too! You could do some zinnias too - they're annuals but boy do they put on a show for months and months - till the first frost in fact. All of the above flowers bloom from late spring till the first frost where I live in fact, so I fill my sunny flower beds with those.

I'm one of those obnoxious people who have flowers of all different colors all in my beds. LOL

If you're lucky, you may be able to find some heirloom petunias - they come back year after year. I have some in my flower beds whose "ancestors" were in my great great grandmother's flower beds. I really like that.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Northern Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I have had really good luck with gaillardias, purple cone flowers, and shasta daisies in full sun like that and they come back year after year. Those all really look good together too! You could do some zinnias too - they're annuals but boy do they put on a show for months and months - till the first frost in fact. All of the above flowers bloom from late spring till the first frost where I live in fact, so I fill my sunny flower beds with those.

I'm one of those obnoxious people who have flowers of all different colors all in my beds. LOL

If you're lucky, you may be able to find some heirloom petunias - they come back year after year. I have some in my flower beds whose "ancestors" were in my great great grandmother's flower beds. I really like that.

Me too.....I like all of them and I can't just pick a couple. If that makes us obnoxious, so be it!!! The heirloom flowers are astounding - I sure wish I had some of my Grandma's roses and my Mom's Peony and Columbine. I have bought them since I left home, but mine have not done well in the past. I can still see her garden in my minds eye...sigh....
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
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A friend of my parents bought a little tube of mixed perennial flowers for her back fence. It was more than the 15" but not super big. She sprinkled the seeds over the tilled ground and said for the past 3 years she has had some of the most beautiful flowers ever. Said all she did was sprinkle the seeds, rake a little dirt over them, then stand back.
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