Annuals forum→What flowers go with these plants?

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Lewistown, PA
May 17, 2020 6:47 PM CST
In the bed in the front of my house I have a row of boxwoods (3 winter gems and 1 cone type); in front of those is a row of 4 Palace Purple coral bells and on both ends of that row is an Astilbe. I originally planted Liriope but it became invasive (I think the garden center I bought them from mislabeled them because they are not like the ones I had at a different house I lived in) I removed them and planted as the front row Japanese Painted Ferns. Half of them didn't make it through the winter here in zone 6 central Pennsylvania. I am now considering planting annuals for this front row of plants but have no idea what would look nice. I don't want any that will become a groundcover--wanting ones that will pretty much not spread. And they can't be too tall since they are the front row. Does anyone have any ideas? TIA.
central ohio (Zone 5b)
May 18, 2020 5:45 AM CST
For annuals, I find the best way is to just go to a garden store (or a seed catalog in the winter if that's your way) and pick something pretty.

Your fern comment suggests the area is somewhat shady, in which case I might pick snapdragons. Even as an adult I find them charming, and they like a little shade. Many varieties stay small (it seems with garden center plants it's harder to find things that do grow big.)
[Last edited by PlantingOaks - May 19, 2020 5:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Tender Perennials Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tomato Heads
Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents
May 18, 2020 10:58 PM CST
Wax begonias are a good border too. Not too tall and they come in red, pink and white blooms. They like a little shade, but not too much.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
May 20, 2020 1:13 PM CST
Wax begonia and impatients tend to stay in their lane and mound nicely.

I wouldn't recommend snaps. I love them to death, but they can get sloppy if crowded and don't get bright sun, and they don't bloom as reliably through hot summer weather.
Oxalis is nice too... purple clover... stays low to the ground, tolerates shade
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - May 20, 2020 1:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Echinacea
Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder Enjoys or suffers cold winters
May 24, 2020 6:05 AM CST
Snapdragons don't bloom long here, either- usually only in spring. Wax begonias bloom all summer and are very tolerant of sun and shade. I find vincas to be indestructible in the full hot sun in front of my porch.

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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
May 24, 2020 9:37 PM CST
Vinca is ironclad in sunny spots.

The plural of anecdote is not data.
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
May 24, 2020 10:42 PM CST
Diamond Frost euphorbia if you don't have a long border since they aren't sold in flats and cost more.

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