For the sunny garden location that you don’t want to have to “baby” with lots of water and time spent weeding, try this great plan for an easy-care mailbox garden bed that will also add some impressive curb appeal!
This bed was designed with a 90 degree triangle shape, with the mailbox snug in the “bottom” corner, between the curb and the driveway. The two sides of this triangle that make up the right angle, are planted with five evenly spaced clumps of Variegated Liriope, right at the curb, and driveway line. The middle section depth is filled with bright Black Eyed Susans for summer and fall color. The back row (farthest from the street), running the length of the final line in our triangle, is filled with a row of Dwarf Fountain Grass, or what some call “Foxtail Fountain Grass.” All of these plants are hardy perennials that will self seed, and spread on their own accord. They each do very well with minimal watering, and the Black Eyed Susans are a terrific native plant that not only bloom from summer to fall, but also attracts Goldfinches, who feed on the dried flower heads.
For those who prefer a visual aide, I’ve also prepared a visual layout of this garden to help you plan a garden of your own!
Hints for this Triangular Garden:
Variegated Liriope (or any Liriope for that matter), is amazingly hardy, and it is a great plant to use to fill in an area that you no longer want to weed. The plant spreads prolifically via “runners,” and will form a beautiful carpet of grass that never needs mowing. I recommend using Liriope in an area that you are comfortable with the plant eventually dominating, otherwise, you will find yourself constantly fighting it’s growth patterns, and make yourself miserable. In this garden bed the Liriope is planted around perennial plants that can hold their own against it, and won’t be overrun completely. Concrete curbs and driveways are particularly great assets around a bed with Liriope in it, since they will contain much of the plant’s spreading habits, and provide year round color at your mailbox. I also recommend digging a trench edge around the back perimeter of the fountain grass, to both contain the plants within the bed over time, and set the design off with neatness and distinction from the turf grass of your lawn.
Blooms and Habits:
- Dwarf Fountain Grass will grow in clumps of up to 1-2 feet in height, and spread slowly. They especially look great as a border, when planted in groups. The plant will not die back to the ground, maintaining its shape year round, with foxtail blooms turning pink in the fall, and remaining through the winter, where they look beautiful under snow.
- Liriope will grow 10-18 inches tall, and sport delicate purple flowers from late summer through mid fall. If left alone they will spread rapidly, but they make excellent garden plants when planted thoughtfully, and are pest and disease hardy.
- Black Eyed Susans are an easy-care native plant, that are virtually bullet proof, and look great in arrangements. They can be trimmed back heavily in mid summer, when the stems begin to look black, and will bloom again on the fresh growth, or you can prune them little by little to achieve continuous blooming, while retaining the height of the plant. Black Eyed Susans grow approximately 18-24 inches.
If you are in the market for a new garden bed idea this fall, search through a few local or online plant sales, and try these plants around your own mailbox.