4 Great Ground Covers
Healthy Ground Covers Add Color and Keep Down the Weeds
This is "Creeping Jenny", just one of 5 great ground covers that add a variety of color from chartreuse to dark green, and even purple to your garden, paths, and areas where grass just won't grow. They seem to be very happy here in my new home in central Florida, however.
I have all of these in my yard. I enjoy the contrasting colors of the various ground covers. If you don't mulch heavily or plant ground covers in those areas where nothing else will grow, Nature's ground covers will take over. "Nature's ground cover" is just another name for weeds.
The plants in this photo are still quite young, and have not yet turned the purple/green that is so popular. Nor have they bloomed yet. Next spring they will be gorgeous.
This is one of my favorites because it blooms, and its dark green and purple leaves add interest to the garden. Once established, it is self-sufficient and drought tolerant. In late spring it sends up little stalks about 8 - 10 inches tall that have tiny purple flowers.
Ajuga does best with morning sun and dappled light, but it can take full sun. However, you will see fuller coverage and larger healthier plants with some afternoon shade.
Fiskars Professioinal Bypass Pruners
These are some of the best little pruners I've ever had. If you're a gardener, you will need these. For more info, see my lens entitled, One Must-Have Garden Tool
Sweet Potato Vine
Sweet Potato Vine
No 'Taters, Just Foliage
While this sweet potato vine does not produce potatoes, it does provide beautiful foliage that adds gorgeous color to your landscape. You can get the chartruese type shown here; you can also get a dark purple/black type that is equally beautiful, especially when paired with pink flowers such as impatients or petunias. Last year, in my former home, I paired this chartreuse potato vine with hot pink vinca. The contrast was really nice around our mailbox. It spreads quickly to cover large areas. Because of this, it has become a common plant in commercial landscaping, as well as the home landscape. It likes full sun -- at least 6 hours per day.
Here, in my new home of central Florida, the local master gardeners recommend against planting this ground cover, as it is so very prolific. It has actually become invasive, along with asparagus fern that I love, and planted before I knew of their recommendations. I have since removed the asparagus fern. For the next several months, I found tiny seedlings of asparagus fern popping up in my planting beds. I think I am finally rid of it now.
This is mondo grass. It is in the lirope (monkey grass) family, but is much smaller, growing to only about 6 inches tall. It's a shade-loving plant, and spreads quickly and stays green year-round. The ends of the blades may turn brown in times of extreme drought or long periods of extreme cold. It should be watered well until established. After becoming established, it can be left on its own to flourish.
Mondo grass, as well as dwarf mondo, which reaches heights of only 3 to 4 inches, are great ground covers for shady areas where little else will grow. Both are especially good to plant underneath large trees that block the sunlight so that lawn grass cannot survive.
What is Your Challenging Area?
What is your challenging area of your garden or lawn?
Creeping Jenny Photo
Creeping Jenny can tolerate all but intense afternoon sun. It will need shelter from the harsh heat in the afternoons. Jenny does not bloom, and, unless you live in the warmest climates, will die back in winter. With a mild winter, it will stay around, but may begin to look a bit ragged, When spring was arrives Jenny will perk right up.
One downside of Creeping Jenny is that it is NOT drought tolerant. It must be watered during dry weather, but it is worth the effort for the lime-green color that contrasts so well when set among or near the darker greens and purple/black leaves.
Do you use ground covers in your landscape?
Do you have one of those spots where grass simply refuses to grow? Do you make use of ground covers? They can serve a wonderful purpose in your garden and yard. They can sometimes move into your grass, too, though, so keep an eye on them. Of course, if you hate mowing lawns...
Thank you for visiting this page. I hope you enjoyed it and will plant some new ground covers.
© 2012 MariaMontgomery