The Q&A Archives: Walkway Entrance Garden

Question: Hello, I am planning flower beds to put on each side of our stone walkway which leads to our front door entrance. The beds need perennials that can handle full direct sun. I would also like a couple of plants that are evergreen or at least keep color throughout the winter. I have not had good luck with being able to keep flowers alive and would like to know what type of flowers or flowering plants that you can recommend. Each area is approx. 5 feet long and 4 feet wide with a rounded front, sort of a triangular shape. I live in Sacramento, CA, which I believe is zone 9. I am looking to use blue, red, black, & purple colors. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Answer: I'd use a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year. This way you'll always have something in bloom. Here are a few suggestions, starting with spring:
Aquilegia (Columbine); Armeria (Sea pink); Cerastium (Snow in summer);
Chrysanthemum sp. (Marguerites); Erysimum (Wallflower); Geranium (Cranesbill);
Geum; Helianthemum (Sunrose); Iberis (Candytuft); Linum (Flax); Oenothera (Evening primrose); Oxalis (wood sorrel); Paenoia (peony); Ranunculus (buttercup).

Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile); Allium chives); Campanula (bellflower); Cistus (rockrose); Diplacus (monkeyflower).

Late summer - fall:
Achillea (Yarrow); Ceratostigma (dwarf plumbago); Francoa (maiden's wreath); Lantana; Liatris (gayfeather); Lychnis (Maltese cross); Mirabilis (Four O'Clock); Perovskia (Russian sage); Platycodon (balloon flower); Sedum; Aster; Chrysanthemum; Helichrysum (strawflower); Penstemon (summer snapdragon).

Winter - Spring:
Arctotis; Euryops (Golden bush daisy); Gazania; Cyclamen; Osteospermum (Arican daisy).

Your local garden center may have even more plants to choose from!

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