Low-Maintenance Garden

Here's a way to get a quick return without relying on trays of annuals.

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Fast growth. Low maintenance. Unique design. This garden bed has a lot going for it. The only requirements to jazz up a boring front lawn with this well-laid plan are sunlight and decent drainage. By placing the garden out by the sidewalk, you can create a sense of enclosure for the front yard while providing beauty and interest for visitors.
 
Plant List
PERENNIALS
A-

Gentle Shepherd Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd') (5)

 

Zones 4-9. Soft white flowers with green throat, slightly fragrant, grass-like foliage. 26" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Siberian Iris (Iris siberica 'Caeser's Brother')
Zones 3-8. Deep purple blooms in early summer, grass-like foliage. 36" tall.

 
B-

Krossa Regal Hosta (Hosta 'Krossa Regal') (4)

 

Zones 3-8. Blue-green leaves, vase shape, tall orchid flower stalks late in summer. Foliage 30" tall, stalks 6' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Blue Angel Hosta (Hosta 'Blue Angel')
Zones 3-8. Blue-gray foliage, white flowers on tall stalks, slow grower, but impressive plant. 4' tall.

 
C-

Patriot Hosta (Hosta 'Patriot') (9)

 

Zones 3-8. Broad green leaves have a white edge, lavender flowers in late summer. 22" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Frances Williams Hosta (Hosta 'Frances Williams')
Zones 3-8. Seersucker foliage is blue-gray with gold edge, white to lavender flowers. 30" tall.

 
D-

Fountain Grass (Miscanthus sinensis) (1)

 

Zones 4-8. Narrow bladed arching grass, clump form, silver plumes in late summer and fall. 5-7' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Zones 5-9. Blue flowers spikes much of summer, fragrant silvery foliage. 4' tall.

 
E-

Frosty Morn Sedum (Sedum 'Frosty Morn') (8)

 

Zones 3-9. Fleshy bright green foliage is edged in white, pink flowers late summer and fall. 18" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Big Ears (Stachys 'Helen von Stein')
Zones 4-9. Large silvery gray and wooly leaves. 12-18" tall.

 
F-

Periwinkle (Vinca minor 'Ralph Shugert') (7)

 

Zones 4-9. White edged foliage, bright blue flowers in spring. 6" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Zones 4-8. Whorled leaf pattern, tiny fragrant flowers in spring. 6-8" tall.

 
TREES AND SHRUBS
G-

Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Sea Green') (2)

 

Zones 4-8. Mint green foliage on arching branches. 4' tall and wide.

 

Alternative Plant
Russian Cypress (Microbiota decussata)
Zones 2-6. Low growing evergreen, lacy bright green foliage turns bronze in winter. 12" tall, 3' wide.

 
H-

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) (3)

 

Zone 2-7. Small leaves tremble in wind, greenish white bark, yellow fall color. 60' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Whitespire Birch (Betula populifolia 'Whitespire')
Zones 4-7. Fine textured twigs and foliage, chalky white bark, yellow fall color. 30-40' tall.

 
I-

Sea Foam Rose (Rosa 'Sea Foam') (1)

 

Zones 4-7. Recurrent blooms are white, fragrant, red rose hips in fall. 3-4' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea a. 'Annabelle')
Zones 4-9. Large balls of white flowers much of the summer. 4' tall and wide.

 
J-

Snowmound Spirea (Spirea nipponica 'Snowmound') (2)

 

Zones 4-8. Rounded shrub with masses of white flowers in May. 3-4' tall and 3-4' across.

 

Alternative Plant
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Zones 3-7. Dainty pink flowers in mid summer, large white berries into winter. 5' tall, 3-6' across.

 
K-

Dense Spreading Yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis') (1)

 

Zones 5-7. Dark green foliage, high tolerance to shade. 3' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Holmstrup Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup')
Zones 3-8. Compact, bright green foliage. 4-5' tall.

 
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Fast growth. Low maintenance. Unique design. This garden bed has a lot going for it. The only requirements to jazz up a boring front lawn with this well-laid plan are sunlight and decent drainage. By placing the garden out by the sidewalk, you can create a sense of enclosure for the front yard while providing beauty and interest for visitors.
 
Plant List
PERENNIALS
A-

Gentle Shepherd Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd') (5)

 

Zones 4-9. Soft white flowers with green throat, slightly fragrant, grass-like foliage. 26" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Siberian Iris (Iris siberica 'Caeser's Brother')
Zones 3-8. Deep purple blooms in early summer, grass-like foliage. 36" tall.

 
B-

Krossa Regal Hosta (Hosta 'Krossa Regal') (4)

 

Zones 3-8. Blue-green leaves, vase shape, tall orchid flower stalks late in summer. Foliage 30" tall, stalks 6' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Blue Angel Hosta (Hosta 'Blue Angel')
Zones 3-8. Blue-gray foliage, white flowers on tall stalks, slow grower, but impressive plant. 4' tall.

 
C-

Patriot Hosta (Hosta 'Patriot') (9)

 

Zones 3-8. Broad green leaves have a white edge, lavender flowers in late summer. 22" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Frances Williams Hosta (Hosta 'Frances Williams')
Zones 3-8. Seersucker foliage is blue-gray with gold edge, white to lavender flowers. 30" tall.

 
D-

Fountain Grass (Miscanthus sinensis) (1)

 

Zones 4-8. Narrow bladed arching grass, clump form, silver plumes in late summer and fall. 5-7' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Zones 5-9. Blue flowers spikes much of summer, fragrant silvery foliage. 4' tall.

 
E-

Frosty Morn Sedum (Sedum 'Frosty Morn') (8)

 

Zones 3-9. Fleshy bright green foliage is edged in white, pink flowers late summer and fall. 18" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Big Ears (Stachys 'Helen von Stein')
Zones 4-9. Large silvery gray and wooly leaves. 12-18" tall.

 
F-

Periwinkle (Vinca minor 'Ralph Shugert') (7)

 

Zones 4-9. White edged foliage, bright blue flowers in spring. 6" tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Zones 4-8. Whorled leaf pattern, tiny fragrant flowers in spring. 6-8" tall.

 
TREES AND SHRUBS
G-

Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Sea Green') (2)

 

Zones 4-8. Mint green foliage on arching branches. 4' tall and wide.

 

Alternative Plant
Russian Cypress (Microbiota decussata)
Zones 2-6. Low growing evergreen, lacy bright green foliage turns bronze in winter. 12" tall, 3' wide.

 
H-

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) (3)

 

Zone 2-7. Small leaves tremble in wind, greenish white bark, yellow fall color. 60' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Whitespire Birch (Betula populifolia 'Whitespire')
Zones 4-7. Fine textured twigs and foliage, chalky white bark, yellow fall color. 30-40' tall.

 
I-

Sea Foam Rose (Rosa 'Sea Foam') (1)

 

Zones 4-7. Recurrent blooms are white, fragrant, red rose hips in fall. 3-4' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea a. 'Annabelle')
Zones 4-9. Large balls of white flowers much of the summer. 4' tall and wide.

 
J-

Snowmound Spirea (Spirea nipponica 'Snowmound') (2)

 

Zones 4-8. Rounded shrub with masses of white flowers in May. 3-4' tall and 3-4' across.

 

Alternative Plant
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Zones 3-7. Dainty pink flowers in mid-summer, large white berries into winter. 5' tall, 3-6' across.

 
K-

Dense Spreading Yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis') (1)

 

Zones 5-7. Dark green foliage, high tolerance to shade. 3' tall.

 

Alternative Plant
Holmstrup Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup')
Zones 3-8. Compact, bright green foliage. 4-5' tall.

 
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