Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Easy Groundcovers


Thyme
Enjoy the fresh smell of thyme underfoot in your garden. This easy-to-grow groundcover offers fragrant foliage and pink or white flowers in spring or summer.

Name: Thymus serpyllum
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 10 inches tall

Sweet Woodruff
Sweet woodruff is the perfect groundcover for adding fragrance to your backyard. When the leaves are crushed they smell like freshly mown hay. This is one plant that isn't prone to invasiveness and tends to form well-mannered clumps.

Name: Galium odoratum
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 12 inches tall

Bishop's Weed
Fast spreading bishop's weed will thrive where most other shade plants fail. Because it is so vigorous, it's best suited for shaded slopes or other areas where it has plenty of room to roam.

Test Garden Tip: For extra interest, look for 'Variegata', which sports cream and white splashes on green foliage.

Name: Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum'
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 12 inches tall

 
Ajuga
In spring, ajuga bursts forth with spikes of blue, pink, or white flowers. The plants usually have great foliage, too: Several types are available, from the chocolate-purple foliage of 'Chocolate Chip' to the reddish-bronze foliage of 'Rubra'.

Name: Ajuga reptans
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: 6 inches tall

Lamium
Lamium is an excellent, easy-care groundcover. Most types bloom through the summer, producing clusters of pink or white flowers. Even when they're not blooming, they have great silver-marked foliage that brightens up shady corners. What a beautiful alternative to a struggling lawn!

Name: Lamium maculatum
Growing Conditions: Full shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: 8 inches tall

 
Lily-of-the-Valley
Beautifully fragrant, lily-of-the-valley is one of the easiest groundcovers to grow. It's perfect in the shady spot off the patio or under the big tree in the backyard. Do watch it, though: It can be a vigorous spreader.

Name: Convallaria majalis
Growing Conditions: Shade and well-drained soil
Size: 8 inches tall


Bunchberry
Cute little white flowers cover the plants in spring. The real fun comes in autumn, when bright red fruits adorn the petite plants. The leaves also develop festive shades of bronzy-purple.

Name: Chamaepericlymenum canadense (also commonly called Cornus canadensis)
Growing Conditions: Full shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 6 inches tall

Vinca
Enjoy vinca's colorful blooms from spring through fall. The blue, purple, or white flowers provide a colorful accent to the shiny, green foliage. This easy, adaptable groundcover tolerates a wide range of soil conditions.

Note: It can also grow very quickly -- to the point some gardeners call it invasive.

Name: Vinca minor
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: 8 inches tall

Sedum
Low-growing sedums may not produce the big bang of color like their taller cousins, but it's hard to go wrong with these ultra-low-maintenance groundcovers for sunny spots. This one provides golden blooms in summer.

Name: Sedum acre
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: 3 inches tall

Soapwort
Soapworts are underappreciated plants. Many of them make fine groundcovers. 'Max Frei' is a low-growing, mat-forming selection that is highlighted with starry pink flowers in spring. It's an excellent choice for gardens because it tolerates summer's heat and humidity.

Name: Saponaria x lempergii 'Max Frei'
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 1 foot tall

Creeping Phlox
Pink, white, purple, red, and bicolors with darker-colored eyes abound in spring on this perennial groundcover. Perfect for edging sidewalks and walkways, this slow-growing perennial likes full sun and well-drained soil. Creeping phlox won't become a rowdy neighbor to the tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs that look charming planted with it.

Name: Phlox subulata
Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 8 inches tall

Barren Strawberry
Barren strawberries are native to eastern North America and are appreciated as garden plants for forming dense clumps with strawberry-like foliage and yellow flowers.

Name: Waldsteinia fragarioides
Growing Conditions: Part to full sun and moist, well-drained soil
Size: 1 foot tall

 
Bloody Cranesbill
Bloody cranesbill is named for the bright red color the foliage takes on in fall. Many varieties are available in flower colors of blue and purple. The plant spreads slowly but will eventually form broad swaths in full or part sun or shade. It's not only beautiful, but easy and carefree, too.

Name: Geranium sanguineum
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and well-drained soil
Size: 1 foot tall


Japanese Forestgrass
Ornamental grasses are a beautiful way to add texture to the landscape. Low-growing forms are great groundcovers -- and Japanese forestgrass is one of the best. It comes in glowing shades of gold and chartreuse, and forms flowing mounds that hug the ground.

Name: Hakonechloa macra
Growing Conditions: Full to part sun, moist, well-drained soil
Size: To 2 feet tall

 
Snow-in-Summer
Billowing mounds of crystalline white flowers float over snow-in-summer's silvery foliage. It makes a delightful accent to a stone wall, patio, or garden border. Snow-in-summer is able to handle a range of soil types as well.

Name: Cerastium tomentosum
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: 3 inches tall


Lamb's Ears
Kids love the fuzzy leaves of this old-fashioned, classic perennial. Soft and silvery, lamb's ear forms comfortable, low-growing mounds. Equally fuzzy spikes of purple to pink flowers add interest in summer. Good cultivars to watch for include 'Cotton Ball', 'Big Ears', and 'Primrose Heron'.

Name: Stachys byzantina
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 18 inches tall

 
Crested Iris
Crested iris, sometimes known as woodland iris, is a native of eastern North America and can be found in variety of forms and patterns in blue and white. Once established, they are carefree, cheery groundcovers for the woodland garden.

Name: Iris cristata
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and moist, well-drained soil
Size: 9 inches tall


 
Creeping Buttercup
Here's a buttercup that no gardener should be without. 'Buttered Popcorn' offers bright, chartreuse-splattered foliage that's truly electric in the shade garden. While the foliage is the main attraction, creeping buttercup also offers golden flowers in late spring and early summer.

Name: Ranunculus repens
Growing Conditions: Part to full shade and well-drained soil
Size: 3 inches tall

1 comment:

  1. Did you know you can shorten your urls with AdFly and make money from every click on your shortened urls.

    ReplyDelete