Thursday, November 09, 2006

Don't do That

In yesterday's post extolling the virtues of late fall foliage I showed a photo of a Vanhoutte spirea. This is a lovely example of an arching, or fountain shaped, plant form. This plant form needs plenty of space to show off, and is ideally placed as a single specimen. However, just don't plant it in the lawn as my photo showed! Why? Well, not only is it a maintenance nightmare having to mow and/or trim around the base of the plant, but you also risk damaging it as a result. A better idea? Create a planting bed and combine the spirea - or any plant with an arching form - with a very low groundcover. This will show the shrub to its' best advantage and allow for easier maintenance.

What would I combine with a Vanhoutte spirea? How about creeping wooly speedwell (Veronica pectinata), shown here. It's drought tolerant - like this particular spirea - has small blue flowers in early summer, and is often evergreen (purple-ish grey) in the winter. Voila', a much better solution!

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