Simple Ground Covers for the GardenBy Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)
May 27, 2008
Ajuga have shiny leaves that form a tight and wonderful mass of color close to the ground. From early in the spring to very late in the summer, they will reward you with towering spikes of color, mostly blue but some white flowering varieties are in the market. They can take full sun in the northern areas but need some shade to grow well in the south. It is a wonderful plant that can be easy to grow and maintain in the garden. Thank you to alicewho for the image.
This wonderful plant is great for all but the coldest and warmest parts of the world. The evergreen leaves fill in quickly and stay weed free once established. The flowers are almost not there but the berries are wonderfully red and, if the birds don't eat them all, they are wonderful to leave on for winter snows. Thank you to Todd_Boland for the image.
This fast growing part of the pea family is perfect for slopes and impossible to mow areas. This is not the plant to share garden space with other plants, but the blooms are stunning and a wonderful pink. They love sunny areas and can take full sun and have a low water tolerance in many areas. Thank you to Baa for the image.
Also called wintercreeper, this plant, when mature, will have several differently shaped leaves on the same plant. This will at least give the illusion of several plants in the area with only one plant being there. The leaves turn dark purple from the first cool breeze of fall until the first warm days of spring. The colors and growth patterns make this a wonderful plant in the garden. This just might not be the best plant if you have a desire to plant in the same area again any time soon. Thank you to Gabrielle for this image.
Its wonderful, evergreen leaves will stay with the plant year round. Be careful to keep this plant off trees and bricks or it will creep up the sides and mark the area forever. Ivy grows in sun and deep shade and will take little to no water once established. This plant will never, ever leave your garden once it is there, so plant well and think about your long term plans for the area. Thank you to Toxicodendron for the image.
Creeping juniper might be old fashioned but it is still nice in the garden. It is easy to grow and simple to keep in check. When you want to plant something else in the area they are simple to remove and replace with other plants. They are also long lived and, if taken care of, they will be a staple in your yard for years to come. Thank you to conifers for the image.
This simple grass will grow to a uniform height, stay deep green, and needs little help to grow year after year. Long lived and simple to divide are among the added benefits of this simple plant. This plant is also wanted by so many new gardeners that when you are ready to plant over you can easily give the call and have the area dug out for you by others. Thank you to doss for the image.
Known also as Vinca Minor, this running plant is well known and loved in many areas. The blue to purple flowers are stunning and will bloom well in most areas with a little added water. This is a rapid spreader that grows and fills the area fast in both sun and shade. The plant can be found now with white or pink blooms. Thank you to ideboda for the image.
It is simple to gather new wild strawberry plants and it is often a pass along plant. The plant has runners much like its garden cousin and is simple to grow. It grows in partial shade only and has white blooms and red fruits that are well loved by the birds. Thank you to kennedyh for the image.