|Dasylirion wheeleri in a sea of California poppies, with Echium amoenum, and Yucca rostrata|
|Allium globemaster with California poppies, Verbascum bombyciferum and Nolina 'La Sibirica'|
|More Allim Globemasters with Papaver orientale 'Bolero' amd Nasella tenuissima|
The principles on which this border are based boil down to using a few evergreen structural plants, a few grasses, a few perennials and bulbs, and then self seeding biennials or annuals fill in for the rest. Because so many of the plants in this border self sow, it changes a lot from year to year. That makes it interesting and different each year.
The evergreen plants which provide structure include the following: Nolina nelsonii, Nolina 'La Sibirica', Dasylirion texanum, Dasylirion wheeleri, Yucca rostrata, Yucca linearifolia, Rhodocoma capensis, and Rhodocoma gigantea. I have had previous blog posts on almost all of these.
The bulbs I use in this border include a lot of alliums, eremurus, bulbous irises, calochortus (I would like to have more of these), eucomis, and colchicums. I would also like to have more daffodils in the border, and if I were to continue living at Froggy Bottom, I would add a lot of them to provide early spring color.
The perennials include many thistle-like plants, since the deer don't eat these. They include Eryngium Big Blue, Eryngium alpinum, Eryngium bourgatii, Eryngium Sapphire Blue, and Eryngium maritimum, Echinops ritro and ruthenicus, and cardoons, I also include some perennial poppies, including P. orientale cultivers, and P. spicatum. The deer don't seem to like poppies of any sort. I also have a number of Echiums, including E. amoenum, and E. russicum, as well as some biennial ones which I shall discuss presently. I also have started to use more bearded irises and salvias (mainly Salvia transylvanica and nemerosa) in this border. I also have a couple of different Zauschnerias, which have spread quite a bit over the years. Finally, I include one Agastache. If I were to live there longer, I would probably add more salvias and agastaches. Other perennials include Lobelia tupa and Melianthus major.
The grasses in the border are limited to three: Nasella tenuissima, Stipa gigantea, and Stipa barbata. I explained in a previous post why I don't use any others, even though I have grown many others in the past.
The self sowing annuals and biennials include millions of Papaver somniferum, Papaver californicum, Verbascum bombyciferum, scotch thistle (don't tell the plant police), Echium vulgare (again, don't tell the plant police), Echium 'Mr. Happy', and Limnanthes douglasii. I am also trying to get some sunflowers going in the border as self sowers. If I were to live here longer, I would try adding more California native annuals and hope to get them to self sow, much as the Limnanthes has done. These might include Layias and Clarkias.