Ground Cover

kandykiss(z7a)April 28, 2009

My mother in law just made a flower bed and wants a aggressive ground cover to put in it. She would like something evergreen that flowers but if it doesnt stay evergreen thats fine :-)She has had vinca so thats out of the question , Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

Ajuga....a great ground cover and blooming beautifully in the spring. It comes in various foliage colors also. I have a burgundy leafed one that had brilliant blue blooms in early spring.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:07AM
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I am curious the Ajuga would it do for partial shade?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Yellow archangel - it has variegated foliage that is evergreen and has a yellow bloom in the spring. Linda

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:58PM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

I have ajuga in shade, part shade and even some in full sun. It all does fantastic for me. No problems.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:17PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

I like asiatic jasmine for this purpose. It usually doesn't bloom unless you let it climb, but the foliage looks great all year.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 7:18PM
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i like ajuga myself, esp. 'burgundy glow' w/green, cream and pink in the foliage.
my latest interests are with sedums for this purpose. 'angelina', 'blue spruce' and 'ogon' are all nice, evergreen and produce tiny flowers in part shade or sun. i would not call them aggressive as they are easily pulled when they stray too far. they grow at a moderate-to-fast pace for me. you can plant annuals or perennials within the coverage of these low-growers. they are commonly found at the box store garden centers now. have not looked into the hardiness of these for your zone 7, though, so you might check that out.
golden creeping jenny is very fast to spread (given adequate moisture), low-growing and will be hardy for you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:23AM
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I agree with Jeff on all his recommendations. I love sedums, very easy to get them out of the way, creeping jenny is great for fast growth. Ajuga was new for me the last 3 yrs, I was amazed at it's growth also. For partially shady areas, I have strawberry begonia and Orchid Frost lamium. I lost my Georgia Blue creeping veronica, but the folks at Dave's rave about it. I'd like to hear other recommendations too!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Ajuga ajuga ajuga!!! If your MIL wants something that hits the ground running AJUGA IS IT!!! Let me tell you about how hardy it stayed alive and green under zone 5 conditions up in Massachusetts. It stayed alive and green in zone 8B in Mobile without anyone watering it.

And it spread. And while it is a short plant, the 6" tall blue-almost-purple flower spikes can look fantastic coming up through dense perennial vinca. I found some in the middle of the lawn here in Mobile, dug them up and put them in a flower bed bordered by leriope, and the ajuga is out performing the leriope. I love leriope, monkey grass/orphiopigon, vinca of all kinds. Those are LOW ground covers. If you want something TALL and you have shade, try some aspidistra/cast iron plant. It too will grow in dense shade, around all sorts of above-ground tree roots. That's why almost every giant live oak tree along Government Street in Mobile had a dense ring of cast iron plants then a field of monkey grass or leriope beyond that.
I like the dark shadey green of the grasses which stay evergreen because they look like shade under the crepe myrtles, even on a super hot day. You might have to weedeat the monkey grass once if you get briars, but by the time it fills in really dense, not much can grow there.
I used it to hide the rotten pears which fell in my hammock area. Lovely dark green, so cool and relaxing to look at that north side of my house where grass had a hard time growing.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 11:46PM
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Ceratostigma plumbaginoides. 10-12 inches tall, not evergreen, however. Grows well in shade or sun. Tolerates drought, very tough, spreads but not invasive. Beautiful blue flowers from summer to fall. Can send you some for postage.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:58PM
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