Ground cover crops play an important function in the garden. Characterized with their low-growing forms and capability to strangle weeds with a carpet of vegetation, soil covers provide several benefits to almost any outdoor space. There are an enormous variety of ground cover plants readily available, often with unique growing requirements which range from full sun and dry conditions to moist soil and color. Pay attention to choosing a variety that is employed on your location and hardiness zone.
Some soil cover plants can be vigorous growers in certain growing conditions (borderline invasive, really), so be certain to do your homework and choose the necessary precautions. This can indicate segregating areas of ground cover and lawn, since voracious ground cover plants can migrate into the bud and take over. That said, as soon as you select the right floor cover and establish the right site, the opportunities to create a truly striking landscape appear.
Listed below are some of my favourite ways to use ground covers in the garden.
Plan-it Earth Style
Between pavers. This is most likely the most frequent use of floor covers, and rightly so, since it’s very effective. Whether it’s a casual approach with irregular stone slabs or a modern high-contrast aesthetic with modular pavers, floor covers fill in the spaces between stonework and generate a surface that is visually appealing and functional.
When selecting a floor cover to your paving project, be certain to choose a specimen that can handle traffic. One of my favorites is brass buttons (Leptinella squalida, USDA zones 4 to 10). As can be found in this case, Leptinella is a vigorous grower and forms a dense carpet of miniature fern-like foliage that is evergreen in temperate climates.
More: Plants to Your Pathway
About trees. Many trees have a unique form to their branches and trunk — a feature that should be emphasized. Rather than planting shrubs and perennials around the bottom of a feature tree, try integrating a carpet of ground cover that will enable the main form to be valued. Mosses such as Irish moss (Sagina subulata, zones 4 to 8) also form interesting mounds that bloom with tiny flowers in midsummer.
In rock gardens. Rock gardens are unique growing surroundings, and not all plants will appreciate the arctic conditions. Besides alpine plants, there are a number of ground covers that flourish in these conditions and can create interesting, low-maintenance and mini gardens.
Knawel cushion (Scleranthus biflorus, zones 9 to 11) is a truly fascinating noun which will likely become a feature in your rock garden. This slow growing, mound-forming plant gives a dense carpet of green foliage that will slowly creep over the surrounding rocks. Ensure the soil is well drained, as knawel cushion is prone to rotting with an excessive amount of water.
Meissner Landscape, Inc
In acidic soil. Planting around the foundation of large conifers can be hard due to the acidic, depleted soil and low-light conditions. Most ground covers won’t do nicely in this situation, but there are frequently significant distances between shrubs and perennials that will gain from floor cover.
One plant that is up to the challenge is bugle weed (Ajuga reptens, zones 3 to 10), a rapidly spreading evergreen ground cover that makes a tight mat of leaves with flower spires in the early spring. It’s worth noting that Ajuga can be somewhat invasive and should be sited only in locations where it can be included.
Around partitions and hardscape features. Some floor covers are nicely suited to areas of a site where the standard change is characterized by walls and other hardscape features. It can be difficult to incorporate these features into the landscape, due to their hard outlines comparison the aesthetic of the surrounding softscape features.
Baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii, zones 9 to 11) is a versatile floor cover that is well suited to this situation, since it flourishes with hardly any soil present and develops over hardscape features with little or no assistance. Brick walls take on a very different appearance when they are blanketed in baby’s tears, also it’s likely to create the impression they have been there for centuries.
As standalone capabilities. Every once in a while, you come across a very creative use of ground covers that makes for an interesting conversation piece in the garden. Last year I toured England, seeing some of the very influential gardens in the country and soaking up the layout inspiration.
Whilst exploring the various garden rooms in Sissinghurst Castle, I came across an intriguing feature tucked into the hedge lining the herb garden. A stone bench was adorned with a carpet of chamomile, forming a chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile spp) seat.
This type of feature was common in medieval gardens, and it can offer inspiration for aromatic floor covers in your own yard. Try Roman chamomile or English chamomile to get the best outcomes (they are equally low-growing varieties), or experiment with different varieties of low-growing floor cover, such as creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum, zones 4 to 8).
Read about some other Fantastic floor cover: Golden Creeping Jenny