Well-behaved groundcover(s) that will drape over stone walls?

lmarks(z6 NY)April 22, 2006

I have a couple of tiers of rock retaining wall that need softening. Are there any groundcover plants that would drape over the edge? Maybe the vine forum is really where I should be heading. Forgive me, I'm new at this! The site varies between partial shade and deep shade. I'd also love plants that would grow in the crevices between the stones - but maybe that's a question for the rock garden forum! Argh. Anyway, I first thought "groundcover" because it probably needs to be something shallow-rooted - the retaining walls look like they're dry-stacked but actually have cinder-block reinforcement behind them, with just about 3" of soil on top of the cinderblocks. So something that creeps nicely up to the edge of the wall, and perhaps over it, is probably a good place to start.

Thanks for your patience with my incoherence.

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diggerdee zone 6 CT

There is a neighborhood house which has a short stone wall at the entrance, along the driveway, and they have creeping phlox (phlox subulata) which hangs over the wall and is absolutely spectacular this time of year. I never paid attention to their sun/shade situation, but I think there is a large tree on the other side of the driveway, so it may be part sun/part shade. I know that phlox can grow in lean, rocky soil, so it may be able to live in crevices. I do think it needs more sun, though.

Depending on how high your walls are, I've often seen pictures of a certain kind of thyme hanging over a wall. Darn, I can see the actual picture - it's been used in several catalogs for years now - but I can't think of the kind of thyme, and again, don't know the sun requirements.

Sorry I can't be of more personal-experience-type help. I'm still waiting to be able to build stone walls on my property! Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 10:33PM
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Creeping phlox will work well, but make sure you get the right one - Phlox subulata is a rock garden plant and prefers (needs) full sun, Phlox stolonifera is a native woodland plant and will grow and flower in much shadier conditions. Others to consider are mossy saxifrage and Saxifraga umbrosa (London Pride) or the groundcover forms of Campanula, like portenschlagiana or poscharskyana (Dalmation or Serbian bellflower).

Again, thyme needs full sun to do well. Some stonecrops will also work in a partial shade condition.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:20AM
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jackied164(z6 MA)

in sun saponaria is nice aubrieta also. I mix them in with creeping phlox they flower at slightly different times.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 6:59PM
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lmarks(z6 NY)

Thank you all! I'm delighted to have these suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 10:43PM
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dian57(M-H Valley NY-5)

I'm very partial to cerastium (snow in summer) for cascading over walls. It's sage foliage and airy white blooms appeal to me tremendously. I've been surprised that some people think of it as invasive. It's been fine for me in a small raised garden bed of hostas and lilies. I've had limited success with phlox on my property whereas the cerastium seems to tolerate my neglect.

Check it out: http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/77014/

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 5:59AM
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Creeping lysimachia "Copper Penny". You can't beat it for beautiful gold colored round leaves and it grows on virtually anything.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 4:35PM
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my favorites are the cerastium and vinca minor. My vinca does well in shade and sun. and you have a wide variety of leaves and flower color. and if you have a wall to hand down from it would be lovely. Some people call it invasive but if you have wall or concrete on both sides it is not a problem.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 1:36PM
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You can try alyssum. I used to have a bed of 'Carpet of Snow' and it was indestructible. I recently saw seeds for 'Mountain Gold' on the web and I'm thinking about getting it. Nice color - in the photo anyway...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 1:37AM
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