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Small perennials that look good year-round (PNW Zone 8B)

7 years ago

We have an area approximately 5' x 2 1/2' between the exposed aggregate sidewalk and exposed aggregate porch. We want to put a small fountain in that area with rocks to fill in. (Actually we'd like a large fountain, but that's a bit too spendy for us at this time.

Anyway, we came up with a two-part fountain that looks like a couple upright rocks---one 16" high and the other 24" high. We need to fill in the area somehow so it's not dwarfed by all the empty space. We plan to use river rock or something similar in the opening. In addition, we might be able to find a couple rocks that coordinate with our fountain pieces. The fountain sits on a reservoir that is 2' x 2'.

I have been shying away from putting plants in that area for 2 reasons: (1) The plant debris can get into the water and clog up the pump or just generally contaminate the water, and (2) I'm unsure what we could plant in there that would look good year-round. However, I do think a little something green would be nice in that area.

I've considered maybe putting some small plants, in containers, buried in the rocks, in the area of the fountain. The area will get some sun, but will mostly be shaded by the porch roof. I was considering small ferns or small ornamental grass.

Any suggestions for plants that would look good pretty much any time of year. I don't even mind if I have to replace them each year, if I can keep the area looking good spring, summer, fall, winter. Is that even possible?

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