Sturdy Plants for Yards and Gardens

Yards and gardens that are home to energetic children need plants that can put up with a bit of abuse. No use planting delicate flowers if you are going to get upset every time they get hit by a football!

Dramatic Draping of Cotoneaster Horizontalis

Dramatic Draping of Cotoneaster Horizontalis

Cotoneaster horizontalis  are incredibly tough. The fall foliage of its shiny leaves ranges from reddish orange to burgundy. Light pink blooms of late spring yield to equally shiny red berries.

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cotoneaster horizontalis  are incredibly tough. The fall foliage of its shiny leaves ranges from reddish orange to burgundy. Light pink blooms of late spring yield to equally shiny red berries.

Tough and Pliable 

It is possible to fill your yard only with plants that have strong growth and pliable stems, that will bend when hit, rather than snap, or that recover from breakages quickly. Such plants may not be the most exciting of choices, but they will at least clothe your yard in greenery for the relatively short period when they are under attack. Later on they can be swapped for more exciting plants. 

Border Edgings 

If you are determined to hang on to your flower border, you can use plants to shield it from straying children. A hedge of short-growing plants will deflect the worst, but you will nevertheless have to resign yourself to occasional casualties. Many plants recover quickly from blows, but you will have to prune out dead growth to ensure that they continue to thrive. 

Choice of Plant 

Here is a selection of sturdy plants, some of which make good border edgings. Those such as Cotoneaster horizontalis are incredibly tough and you would have to try pretty hard to make much impact on them. Cordylines form strong, treelike trunks and grasses, such as Carex flagelliera, have such light, pliable leaves that they spring back into shape after being stepped on or hit—just what is needed for the family garden. 

  • Artemisia schmidtiana “Nana” 
  • Bergenia 
  • Buxus sempervirens 
  • Carex flagellifera 
  • Cordyline australis 
  • Cotoneaster horizontalis 
  • Hakonechloa macra “Aureola” 
  • Hebe “Red Edge” 
  • Liriope muscari 
  • Mahonia x media “Charity” 
  • Miscanthus sinensis “Gracillimus” 
  • Nandina domestica 
  • Phyllostachys nigra 
  • Sarcococca confusa 
  • Stipa tenuissima 
  • Trachycarpus fortunei Cordyline australis