Plants growing beside paths serve can really soften a hard edge concrete or paver path. They soften hash lines, introduce colour and texture and also offer a welcome to visitors.

If they have scented flowers or foliage, plants enhance the journey along a pathway or up and down the steps.

But looking good and smelling good aren’t all there is to consider when selecting plants to grow beside the path. They don’t really want to have thorns, they need to be evergreen for a year-round edge, and they should be low growing.

So lets look at a few suggestions for beside a path.

Small, dense clumping plants are ideal beside a path. Choose plants that spread a little way onto the path to soften the edge but that are easy to maintain and low enough so they don’t cast a shadow on the turf behind them.

Top suggestions include varieties such as carnations, thyme, lambs ears (Stachys byzantina), catmint (including Nepeta x faassenii ‘Six Hills Giant’) and thrift (Armeria maritima). All are sprawling, sun lovers that creep out onto the path.

(Lambs Ears above)

For a shaded path use Australian native violet (Viola hederacea) or a variegated lamium (Lamium maculatum).

(Viola Hederacea above)

Any of these can be grown as an informal edge, planting just one species / variety or combining several. For year-round interest, select a plant or planting combination with silver or variegated leaves.

Alternatively clumping, grass-like plants may fit the bill. Try dwarf agapanthus, mondo grass, liriope or dianella. These can be grown as a ribbon beside a path. They are soft but add a formal edge. One tried and true planting combination is a row of dwarf green mondo grass immediately beside the path with a taller row of variegated liriope  planted behind.

What ever you decide the it’s important that you pick the right plant / grass for the location to ensure you get the most out of edging plant year round.