Sunday, November 29, 2009

Make ground covers your friend

Ground covers can be among the most attractive and useful plant groupings in your home landscape.

We’ve been getting lots of rain and the ground covers are thriving. Some have needed some radical trimming, but they do add a lushness to the garden. I have been thinking about some of the gardens I have visited that absolutely cry out for the addition of ground covers. And others where gardeners have simply planted the wrong groundcovers in the wrong places, ending up with strangled flower beds or shrivelled ground cover plants in shady areas.

Ground covering plants are just that — they spread or creep over the ground to form a dense, living carpet of foliage which can take the place of a lawn or fulfil many other useful purposes in the garden.

They include plants that propagate quickly to form a dense, lawn‑like carpet of greenery, plants that have coloured foliage or which flower profusely, and others that are really small, spreading shrubs. There is a large variety of texture and leaf form too, and there are ground covers to suit varying soil types and virtually any terrain, whether a rocky, steep bank or a damp, shady corner.

Ground covers are particularly well suited to informal gardens, and areas that are difficult to landscape in a conventional way. It is often difficult, or impossible, to grow a lawn on steep, rocky blocks of land, and even if a lawn can be established, mowing and maintenance could be a problem. Choose the right plant for the right place.

I have now added the first in a new series dealing with Ground Covers to my website Head over there now for the lowdown. Future posts will deal with Propagation of ground covers, Planting and Caring for ground covers, and profiles of a number of popular ground covers.

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