Yet another groundcover question
I've searched this forum and read quite a few previous posts. I've done my research and I'm down to a few candidates. This is an area of my yard, that has sat unlandscaped for at least 8 years, mostly because it is so vast, but this year I've decided to just take it in smaller pieces and eventually the job will get done.
I will have evergreen shrubs planted at the back of the section, and I will use liriope as a border plant. I already have them and they need to be divided, so I'm sure to have enough plants to do that. It's the middle of this section that I need to plan. I'd like to have a ground cover that will cover fast, since the area that I plan on tackling this year is about 20 x 20. The entire area is about 80 x 50, but one step at at time.
I don't have the funds to plant this entire area in one year. So I'd like to put down the ground cover this year, and edge it with my free liriope. Eventually, I'll be planting bulbs, small shrubs, annuals, perrennials etc. So the ground cover, will have to allow me to intersperse other plants.
The main criteria for my groundcover, is that it is fast growing, without being invasive, deer resistant and drought tolerant once established. It must be able to withstand a moderate slope.
This section gets morning shade and full sun from about noon on. I have already raked and weeded the area, but the ground is like cement. Hard sun baked clay. (Trust me, I know this is the most important element of the job.) I plan on breaking up the ground, adding topsoil (due to the size of the area and cost), and compost, as much as I can get my hands on :). I also need the plant not to be toxic because I have two small children, so if any of my choices are toxic, please let me know.
I'd like it to be evergreen, but not necessary. Flower color isn't my main concern. What I really want is something that will fill the area, without being sparse and patchy. Since, I want it to be the "base" of the area, I really don't want anything that will choke everything else out, nor do I want it to be much taller than 6-8 inches, 12 inches maximum. We have loads of deer and rabbit, so again, something they won't feast on, is really key. Oh, and finally (goodness, I want the world, sorry for the long post), I'll probably have to sow from seed due to the size of the area to cut down on costs, so if you think it won't be readily available in this format, or just a bear to grow from seed, please advise.
Whew! My candidates (in no order of preference):
Iberis Semperverins (Candytuft)
Mazus Reptans "Alba"
Ajuga R "Burgandy Glow"
Delosperma Cooperi (Ice Plant)
Phlox (would love suggestions for best spreading form)
Sedum (would love them, but the ones I really like, are the taller varieties. Perhaps, I'll just add them as filler, not a ground cover)
Thank you for reading throught this exhaustive post, and I look forward to your suggestions, on the groundcover as well as tips/tricks for fixing the cement clay.