Edgings at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden

 The edge of the garden bed is an element sadly neglected in my garden, and all too often descends into a collection of  plant debris, hollow snail shells and of course oxalis. Last summer I started paying more attention to the edge, but attention didn't always result in action. Often it was a matter of standing gazing down  morosely and thinking to myself  "that looks like crap, I need to plant xxxx " and then I would  wander off to be quickly distracted by the next thing my eyes fell upon; a de facto puppy/kitten.

 Last week I spent a few days out on the coast and found I came back with quite a few photos of the edges of the garden beds at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. I've taken hundreds of images here in the last few years, and who knows what prompted me to look closer at the small details.



 I've used golden Oregano as an edging, but it likes it here way to much, and I ended up digging it out. But I did love this combination with Anthriscus  'Ravens Wing' .


Golden Oregano can be well-behaved if you have the inclination to make sure it knows who's boss. When it lived at my house it was.



 This is Sedum pallidum var. bithynicum with what I believe to be Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' .I grew this at one time several years ago and it was a really nice ground cover with no negative attributes that I can recall.


Thyme, I speculate that it is golden thyme 


 Here is an image that shows how the edging plants incorporate into the border.


A wider view of the same area. How different this would be if these ground hugging plants were gone. They make a perfect picture frame.


 This bed was bordered in Bidens, and the pollinators were busy.



 A nice combination where the Bidens left off.


  I have Alchemilla mollis on the edge of one of my garden beds, but I think a lower profile layer in front of it looks even better. I may be copying this soon.


  The tapestry effect is deployed to nicely here.


 The silver plant on bottom right is Raoulia australis 'New Zealand Mat' .



 I can never remember which is which when it comes to Scotch moss and Irish moss. Here it is (whatever it is) planted with  Sedum spurium. I love how they look together.


Here with the same Sedum, is Elfin Thyme.




And here the Sedum is again with Cerastium. I have this Sedum too, but it's planted with Oxalis . The Oxalis volunteered. In many places.
 

  I don't know what this is. It looks nice though !



Even the Agaves get some edging. Dymondia on the left and that might be creeping Thyme on the right.





 This is completely impossible  for my garden. Moss, whether it be Scotch or Irish  would look like hell 10 out of 12 months a year. This moss is in full sun all day , but sun on this part of the coast is a different animal from the sun of the inland valley where I live.


  Looking through my photos when I came home from my road trip inspired me to make a commitment to acquire some ground-huggers to install here at home. 

Comments

  1. I REALLY need to get to the Mendocino Coast Botanic Garden on day. I like the tapestry look in edging materials. I rely heavily on creeping thyme but, when it dies out, it seems to go all at once so a combination of materials might be useful . That last photo looks a lot like Scleranthus biflorus, aka Australian Astroturf. I've thought of trying it as Annie's claims it's good in dryish sun conditions. It's not cheap, though.

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    1. I think you are spot-on re the Scleranthus. I'm going to try it. If you are all the way up here for that event in August why not take a coast trip back down ? Take look at HWY 20. Straight shot to Fort Bragg. Well, a windy straight shot.

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    2. Really nice focus on GC and edging plants, total pro tips! And that kind of scale works for playing with plants in a small garden.

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    3. Forgot to add that I earlier today I put an order in for some erodiums to Robin Parer, so I've already been thinking of filling in around agaves, aloes, succulents…I'd love to get that lush Mendo look!

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    4. Erodiums Denise ! You are getting fancy. I'll wait to see if you end up collecting them.

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  2. It’s easy enough to overlook edging as just plants used to demarcate space but an effective one surely does set the entire bed nicely!

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    1. Well, now I'm on a mission to the edge. !

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  3. Oh the Oxalis. Hate hate hate it. I remember seeing it everywhere in the Bay Area during the Fling though, almost as if the gardeners had given up and just decided to let it exist. Love the ground covers hugging the Agaves, I look at that though and think "rot!"...

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    1. One would think the Agave situation would be perilous, but the bed is mounded and the soil is quite sandy. This area probably gets at least 40inches of rain a year, not to mention fog , but the Agaves seem to be toughing it out.

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  4. I can see how you were inspired, these ground hugging edging plants/spreaders are a great idea. Golden oregano took over when I planted it, I'm still pulling it out all over.

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    1. Today I found a named cultivar of the Oreganum aureum, which stated on the tag that it only spreads 12 inches. I'm plant tag gullible so I bought it . The leaves are smaller . I also managed to pick the pot in the flat that had no tag. I swear it had a name.

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  5. I've been thinking about edging a lot, too. I try to keep the grass and weeds around the beds trimmed, but frequently fall behind, and need to figure out plants that will help block grass and weed incursions around the bed edges without growing out over the edges themselves, making mowing difficult. Carex comans was a bust, arching out over the adjacent lawn and hiding rather than blocking the grass and weeds growing into the bed. Of course I wish I could eliminate the lawn entirely, but that's not an option for me right now.

    I should be seeing the Mendocino Coast Botanic Garden this fall, with a friend. I can't wait!

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    1. The thing is I actually enjoy sitting on the ground weeding , so I don't think picking the oxalis out of the edgeing plants will be that awful. To that end, I brought home a mixed flat of various Thymes and Sedums today. I'm expanding my island bed and plan to incorporate these. And you're right, it's hard when there is lawn involved. It wants to encroach, and encroach it does. I do have a pair of old fashioned Corona grass shears though that work great ---my garden is small so it's easy to keep ahead of it. Be sure to visit Digging Dog too if they are open when you are in Mendocino.

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  6. These ground huggers really make the beds look great. My edges look a lot like your description of yours except I usually plant really tall plants right on the edges of beds so they fall over and trip people. These are some fabulous edging ideas!

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    1. I've got some of that floppy action going on here too !

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  7. Oy that is so gorgeous, all of it, in your photos.

    Let us comfort ourselves with the thought it is that seacoast climate which makes the gorgeousness possible--fierce inland heat such as you have, or a yearly rain total of 4.5", such as I got, make it a wee bit difficult.

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    1. At least I can go out there a few times a year and immerse myself.

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