A lot of homeowners keep their gardens close to the house. But here’s a different idea: Park some of that homegrown beauty closer to the curb, where it can be shared with others.
We started with an ordinary suburban yard. After marking off a corner between the driveway and the sidewalk, we removed the sod and amended the soil with peat moss and compost. Then we planted the bed with a mix of tough ornamental grasses, shrubs, ground covers, and flowers. The result: A colorful, easy-to-maintain garden.
- Tickseed (Coreopsis Big Bang Star Cluster), Zones 5–9
- Red-twig dogwood (Cornus alba), Zones 2–8
- Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’), Zones 5–9
- Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens), Zones 4–9
- Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), annual
- Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Zones 3–9
- Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum ‘Blue Fortune’), Zones 4–11
- SunPatiens impatiens, annual
- Trailing stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’), Zones 3–11
- Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa Aloha Series), annual
- Verbena (Verbena Lanai Twister Series), annual
We placed three large terra cotta containers in front as a focal point. They were primed, painted with Valspar Honeywood, and stenciled with the home address in Valspar Dried Pepper. The pots were filled with moisture-holding potting mix and planted with verbena and SunPatiens impatiens.
Purple Coneflower and Hyssop
Purple coneflower and hyssop are beloved by people and pollinators alike. Both are tough, drought-tolerant perennials that bloom for extended periods. They also have the height needed to back up large containers.
Although more commonly found in golden yellow hues, there are tickseed varieties in other colors, such as white and pink. We chose a sparkling variety with purple-flecked white petals surrounding honey gold centers. It’s a fresh and lively face for an old garden favorite.
Calibrachoa and ‘Angelina’ Sedum
Lime-colored ‘Angelina’ sedum is a water-savvy ground cover that stands out when paired with soft-pink calibrachoa blooms. It’s just right for the edge of the sidewalk because it readily deals with reflected heat.
Blue Oat Grass
This dependable ornamental grass stands proud with its blue-gray blades and fan-shape habit. It’ll come back year after year in most climates. And in a few years you get a bonus: You can divide clumps into new plants.
Sweet Potato Vine
A red-leaf sweet potato vine offers pleasing contrast in shape and color with nearby blue oat grass. The vine’s sprawling habit happily fills gaps among its taller companions.
Put a colorful garden to work in your front yard. You’ll be surprised what a few bright plants can do.