Name My New Border!

All my beds and borders have names, though most are rather pedestrian. There’s the Sidewalk Border, the Driveway Border, the Patio Border, etc. The most evocative name I’ve come up with is the Left Bank Border, for the area north of the ‘Donald Wyman’ crabapple on the far side of the driveway.

The new border, all planted. The city has told me they won't remove the stump, so I'm thinking of putting a container on it.
The new parkway border, all planted. The city has told me they won’t remove the stump, so I’m thinking of putting a container on it.

Now I have dug a new border (or would you call it a bed?) on the parkway across the sidewalk along the Left Bank. What to call it? I’ve considered calling it the Maginot Line, thus maintaining a Gallic theme, but that sounds too martial.

So I am turning to my readers to come up with a name via a contest. The judges (specifically Judy and I) will pick from among the suggestions offered in the comments. The winner gets the thanks of a grateful nation.

Another view of the new parkway border.
Another view of the new parkway border.

I finished the planting today. The bulk of the plants were from Prairie Nursery, and arrived a couple of days ago. I’m afraid I crammed too many plants into the available space, which is my normal practice. As my grandmother Tessie would say when people were coming for dinner, “Better too much than too little!”

So here’s the plant list:

Prairie Smoke
Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum). I’m using this to edge both sides of the sidewalk.

Prairie Onion (Allium stellatum).

Wild Petunia
Wild Petunia with Wild Strawberry

Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis).

Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata).


Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa).

Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius). Just one of these, to provide a splash of blue in autumn.

Blue Stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
Blue Stem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)

Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia).

Praire Dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepis).

Prairie Baby’s Breath (Euphorbia corollata). These are hard to find. They arrived bare root from Prairie Moon about two weeks ago. I planted them right away but I’m still waiting for them to show themselves. I was really impressed when I saw them growing in Pat Hill‘s garden.

Most of these plants are repeated on both sides of the sidewalk. In addition, there are two plants I received as an unexpected gift from the kind people as Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm, one each of ‘Priceless Gold Strike’ Daylily, and Helenium autumnale ‘Short’n’Sassy’.

So taking this plant list or anything else you like as inspiration, what do you think I should name my new border?

82 Comments on “Name My New Border!

  1. You could either name it after me–where did you see all those plants? or call it your Midwestern Native Plant Garden. Both the Prairie Baby’s Breath and the Butterfly Weed are slow to appear in the spring. If you want to make the trip to St. Charles, Midwest Groundcover carries it in a 32 flat, a 10 flat and a #1 pot. While Midwest Groundcover is a wholesale Nursery, they do sell retail, as well. If you do go out there, ask for Trish Bjeckford and tell her you’re a friend of mine.

    • The Pat Hill Garden? Has a certain ring to it. I have never been to Midwest Groundcover – St. Charles is not easy for me to get to.

    • My push mower will fit in the area by the curb, and I can use the weed wacker for the other area. The area by the curb is so people can open their car doors. The middle strip I think I’ll take out and replace with stepping stones.

      • Thanks for the reply. No one looks like they will park there anyway with the driveway (?) so near. If it is driveway, why not pave there too. The stepping stones in the middle will look great. Are you planting between them or butting them up on each other?

      • Here where I live people can and do park very close to the driveway. I could pave there too, I suppose. I think I would put something like Thyme or maybe a really low sedum between the steps. Or maybe pussytoes.

  2. Prairie Garden. I see a lot of prairie names.

  3. Why not just call it ‘La Rive Gauche’ (I mean, things always sound better in French.)

  4. This is so exciting!! And yes I think a container on the stump will do the trick! Now for a name….Hmmm….natives along the way….Can’t wait to see more of your bed grow and change Jason!! Have a great week! Nicole

  5. Very cool! Can’t wait to see how some of the plants develop. Love your naming idea. I like something with natives as well…maybe “native lands” or “native square”?

  6. I agree with some of the comments above… something with ‘Prairie’. Or with all those lovely plants attracting the bees and butterflies to gather from all directions, something like ‘The Hub’!

  7. I agree with the comments above – definitely think prairie parkway (or something similar) is a winner!

  8. I don’t understand the grass strips either Jason, as to a name, what about ‘beyond the left bank’.

    • Another good suggestion. The strip on the curb is to let people open their car doors. The middle strip, though, I think I’ll dig up and replace with stepping stones.

  9. I vote for Jacqueline’s suggestion–Prairie Parkway! I’ll be interested in seeing how your Prairie Baby’s Breath does. I recently saw it highly recommended on someone’s post, and thought about ordering some, but backed out. Maybe next year.

      • Prairie Baby’s Breath has always done well in my gardens, but I have prairie soil, no clay.

      • Yes, it’s emerging. It will start to bloom in July, carrying on through the end of summer or longer.

  10. I think you need a name like developers give to former industrial areas that they’ve renovated to convert to luxury housing. It used to be a hellstrip but now it’s Pollinator Heights. The Pearl?

    • Hard to call it a “heights” since it’s flat. Maybe ‘Pollinator Meadows’. Though come to think of it, the lack of height would not deter most developers from using the word ‘heights’.

  11. My suggestion would be ‘The Twinnies’ – since you have repeat planted both sides.

  12. I’m thinking along the lines of Narnian Nights, after the lamp in the Narnian stories and, as the planting will always be illuminated by the

  13. I wish I had a clever name for you but I don’t. But you do have a lot of the same plants I do. I suppose you could go with ‘Mariposa del Norte’ or The Prairie, which is what it is. Because prairie is a French word, it already fits with your Left Bank.

  14. You have a great selection of plants. I won’t even attempt a name, but great idea.

  15. Interesting choice of plants. How exciting having a new bed to plant up.
    A name? I have named children, dogs, donkeys, cats, rabbits , goldfish and guinea pigs but never a flower bed. Bert, perhaps? Or is your bed a she? Then it has to be Flora or Flossie.

      • My paternal grandmother’s name was Flora, my maternal grandmother’s name was Myrtle, I had a Greaty Aunt Flossie, and my mother’s name was Fern. How could i possibly be anything other than a gardener/

  16. The prairie parkway is a great name I think. Great plants, and I´m looking forward to seeing it later in the summer.

  17. I always like names that honor a figure from history. For example, depending on the soil, it could be the Henry Clay Border (Did you know that the street I live on is named for Henry Clay’s estate, Ashland?).

    • I really don’t find Henry Clay to be very admirable. How about the Jens Jensen border, or the Sidney Hillman Border?

  18. Wish I had something to add. I like the sound of prairie parkway but am drawn to vote for Stumpy or Stumpy’s Corner — something like that. It would probably turn into a mosquito heaven but I think if it were my stump I would hollow it out partially and then add water to make a bird bath or source of water for wildlife. You could even plant a little fern like a maidenhair inside.

    • I had the same thought about cutting a depression into it for holding water – but how would you do that? With a chisel?

      • That is how I would do it but maybe a person could use a chainsaw depending on how big/tough the stump is.

  19. I would probably go for very simple and direct, like “The Strip Beds” – after all, you’re already calling them the strips anyway. And not to be too wink-wink over it, it does have a certain crazy allure, too, when you consider how this would sound to someone not understanding the context:
    “Say, would you like to come over and see my new Strip Beds?”
    This would be fun.

  20. I would be boring and just call it “The Lamp Post Border” seeing as there’s a lamp post in it. I like to think that my gardening is much more imaginative than my border naming skills!

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