Groundcovers: Beauty & Performance
Do you have a barren or weedy trouble spot in your garden? This time of year when perennials are filling in, blank spaces and troublesome weeds are easy to notice in the landscape.
Looking for a longterm solution for weed control? Introduce an assortment of groundcovers that will crowd out weeds and help protect your soil from heat, heavy rain, and drought.
Groundcovers also add to the beauty and diversity of your garden’s foundation. Planted areas of wildlife-friendly material will come alive by providing food and shelter for insects, birds, and animals.
Putting the right plant in the right place is key to the long-term survival of your plantings, and groundcover is no exception. Before you make a wish list for your nursery run, assess the moisture and pH level of the soil and choose plants accordingly. Consider the amount of sunlight and shade each area of your garden receives throughout the seasons.
A word of caution: quick filling groundcovers can also be aggressive. Skip the exotic and potentially invasive options like English ivy, vinca, and creeping Jenny, and consider well-behaved options or the many native plants that make interesting and colorful carpets under trees, along slopes, or at a garden's edge.
Some of my favorite groundcovers:
For a shady spot...
Larger, mottled leaves than its Asian cousin, tolerates drought and deep shade
Semi-evergreen and tolerates
a range of conditions
Bears delicate flowers in early spring, tolerates dry conditions
(pictured below with the bunny)
Fine textured grass-like plant that forms
a dense low growing turf
For a sunny spot...
Familiar needle-like evergreen foliage that drapes beautifully over a wall
Low growing evergreen shrub that is a host for several butterfly species
Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears'
Prized for its soft silver-green foliage - this variety rarely flowers but forms a dense carpet
~ Silvery lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) adds coverage and border interest in my personal garden ~
~Epimedium filling my front entryway~
~ I love this texture combination: maidenhair ferns and the leaves of ligularia ~
~Green and gold~
~ Solomon's seal, a favorite varigated native that tolerates dry conditions ~