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Wednesday - July 06, 2016

From: Ava, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Plant Suggestions for Flower Boxes in NY
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I am doing a project for a friend that had some flower boxes built along his driveway. They are along a hill leading up to his porch. They are made of all wood and have a wooden wall along the not-hill side. There are a few flower designs we like, some with burgundy in them and we also like the looks of vines cascading down the side. One concern, however, is that a vine would destroy the wood boxes/wall they would cascade down. He wants something that will look nice with relatively low maintenance. Do you have any flower/vine recommendations?

ANSWER:

Sorry for the delay in answering your question. There are several perennials in the burgundy/purple/lilac color range that you might consider for your flower boxes. These were identified through a search of the Native Plant Database (www.wildflower.org/plants/) for the following criteria: New York, herb, perennial, sun, dry and 0-1 feet tall. A second search was done for the vines suggestion using the same criteria except swapping herb for vine. If you have room, using several different plants will extend the blooming season so you can enjoy the blooms in the flower boxes longer. As far as your concern about the vines destroying the wood box, the clematis will be quite safe, but the Parthenocissus has tendrils and small adhesive pads that it uses to secure itself to a vertical surface. These could damage wood structures.

Perennials for sunny, dry conditions:

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) The native species is white but many other colors have been developed from cultivars and are available at nurseries.

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower) Many cultivars with burgundy colors are available at nurseries.

Monarda fistulasa (wild bergamot) Many cultivars with burgundy colors are available at nurseries. Look for powdery mildew resistant plants.

Phlox subulata (creeping phlox) Lots of colors available at the nursery.

Tradescantia occidentalis (prairie spiderwort)

And for a trailing vine:

Parthenocissus vitacea (Hiedra creeper)

Clematis virginiana (Devil's darning needles)

 

From the Image Gallery


Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Bluebell bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Creeping phlox
Phlox subulata

Prairie spiderwort
Tradescantia occidentalis

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

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