Backdrop plants for rock border garden

“The best site for a rock garden is where it ought to. be.” ~ Henry Sherman Adams, “Making a Rock Garden,” 1912

In Sunday’s column (Oct. 22, 2017), I wrote about making a rock border garden around a pond in my backyard. Although by no means natural-looking as Adams insists is the only kind of rock garden worthy of the name, I can create a more naturalistic look to my lava border by planting small saxatile perennials in the crevices of the rocks. In addition, I can add taller perennials as backdrop plants that will also soften the area between the pond and patio. Backdrop plants can be grown in the ground or in containers as space permits. The following are good choices for backdrop plants that provide year-round color:

Spring bloomers: daffodils (Narcissus); columbines (Aquilegia hybrids); wallflowers (Cheiranthus cheiri; biennial, grown as annual), scented geraniums (Pelargonium species; tender perennial)

Summer and fall bloomers: daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids); Brazilian Verbena (V. bonariensis); Zinnia (Z. angustifolia)

Other options for backdrop plants are grasses (blue fescue; blue rye grass) and dwarf evergreen plants, such as dwarf conifers.

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  • About the Author

    Rhonda Nowak

    Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. ... Full Profile
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