By: Rhonda Fleming Hayes
No well-dressed garden should grow without groundcovers. Itís like showing up barefoot to a state dinner!
Youíll never find groundcovers in the front display of your local garden center. Center stage is always reserved for the flashiest flowers. The groundcovers are usually in a more out the way place. But not for long..
These unassuming workhorses of the garden are finally gaining some respect. Two things have happened to bring about this change. First, gardeners, even beginners, are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes. Secondly, plant breeders are introducing more and more irresistible varieties.
By adding another layer, groundcovers give a finished look to any garden; yet they do so much more. They are a living mulch that helps conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
Groundcovers come in so many colors; artemisia ìSilver Moundî, lamium ìGolden Anniversaryî, ajuga ìBurgundy Glowî, to name just a few. These colors can compliment or contrast plantings of bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees.
Cools silvers look great with pinks, blues and purples. Or they go more Mediterranean with yellow and orange. Light up the shade with periwinkle ìIlluminationî. Play off two colors of groundcover; well-known creeping jenny (golden moneywort) takes on a new edge next to ajuga ìBlack Scallopî.
Donít forget fall color. Purple winter creeper euonymous comes into its own as autumn approaches
Consider planting some groundcovers between stones or pavers to lend a sense of age to even the newest of gardens. Low-growing sedums, creeping thymes and mosses are perfect for this. Thymes prefer sunny locations, giving off a wondrous scent when brushed. Mosses in a moist, shady area make for a woodland feel.
Is there anything these charming plants canít do? Why they even have flowers! Most flowers are small, but a few like lamium ìPink Pewterî and creeping phlox ìCandy Stripeî boast beautiful blooms in spring.
Many of these groundcovers have the advantage that they grow in full to partial shade where so many bare places occur. Here their aggressive nature is appreciated for quick cover.
So you can try to grow grass in that same trouble spot, replace wood chips each year and pull weeds. But if I were you, Iíd go with the groundcovers.
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3334 North 88th Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska 68134
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