New Gardner needs ground cover

possumnek(z8/MS)April 12, 2005

Hello everyone, I am hoping I can get some help from your wisdom. I am in North/central Mississippi. I have recently decided to go into the Restaurant business and am in the process of preparing to open. I have a flower bed outside of the building that is only 2' wide and about 30ft long. Everytime I came to this restaurant as a customer I always noticed the weeds in this particular bed. I figured if I could put a ground cover that pretty much took over the bed and draped itself over the busted brick in front of it I could save time and money on maintenance of a flower bed and cover up an eye sore at the same time. My mother, who has always grown flowers and plants, suggested an ivy of some sort. I would like some other suggestions because I know that Ivy will probably take over my light posts in front of the building. I may be wrong. It may be easy to maintain it below the light posts. Any help will be appreciated.

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angiebug(z8a LA)

I'm pretty new myself; I've had to learn about gardening since my husband and I opened a miniature golf course. I actually just finished putting out annuals in the bed in front of our clubhouse this afternoon.

How much sun does your bed receive? I think most groundcovers prefer shade. One interesting plant that I discovered last year was lamium or dead nettle. It's a quickly spreading plant that has very pretty leaves with slight varigation. It also produces tiny purple flowers. It is a shade plant.

If the bed is in full sun, and you're willing to consider an annual flower instead of groundcover, I'd suggest lantana. It also spreads fairly quickly and is supposedly perennial in zone 8, although mine has never come back after the winter. It comes in several shades of pink/orange/yellow/red etc. The 4" pots that I planted last year spread to 2 1/2 to 3 feet during the course of the season and bloomed until frost.

Good luck with the gardening and the restaurant! Let us know what you decide to plant.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 9:43PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Something you might consider if your bed is in sun would be sweet potato. It wouldn't last for the winter of course, but it's amazing how beautiful the colored-leaf forms can be and how quickly and easily they would fill that bed. The thing with ground covers is, they tend to be very good at taking over everything, including your lamp posts. I tend to think anything that freezes back is a blessing.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 1:58AM
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tamivileine(z8b OS,MS, US)

How about the jasmines?

Confederate jasmine - star jasmine

sea ya

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 10:42AM
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You might try Mother of thyme or Mint when stepped on or brushed aginst produce a great smell just my thought.Good luck Jim

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 10:50AM
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The Jasmine thing kinda caught my attention. My wife and I used to be in the Air Force together and we lived in Italy for about 6 years. Our apartment had a jasmine vine outside and when it rained and the wind hit it, it would blow into our bedroom at night. We both loved it so much that we named our corporation Jazmynrayn. I think it is a sign myself. Will jasmine grow well here in Mississippi and how much maintenance will it need?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 7:09PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I don't know much about jasmines myself, but I do know there are a lot of them, and some are quite hardy and some are quite tender, so you'd have to do a little research. Also there's a lot of difference in fragrance, including some that don't have any and some that really have a lot. You would need to check not only Jasminum, but Gelsemium and Trachylospermum. Should have checked the spelling but if that's not quite right at least it's close. There are probably others that some call jasmine. Good hunting!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 2:56AM
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tamivileine(z8b OS,MS, US)


where in MS are you? We're in Ocean Springs. My next door neighbor has some 'jasmine' I believe it's what we call Asian or the Confederate (Trachylospermum). Our houses are on stilts, and this stuff has covered one whole side of the house and when it goes, the whole neighborhood smells good. if I'm not mistaken, the same species is covering the raised pool hillside at OSYC.

Trachylospermum is evergreen here.

I have some Jasminum sambac in the yard, but it's tender. It is the 'true' jasmine, like what's in the tea. Since I have so much tropical/esque stuff, I have a greenhouse and dig up the things I worry about.

sea ya

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 9:50AM
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I am in Grenada which is about half way between Jackson, MS and Memphis, TN on I55. But I have been to the coast many times and know that jasmine is used alot there. I just worried about up here because we tend to get a few frosts in the winter.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 12:25PM
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I have created a link to some pictures of the building and the flower beds in question for your viewing just incase it might help with the suggestions that I am getting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flower Bed Pictures

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 1:15PM
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tamivileine(z8b OS,MS, US)

I know where Grenada is.... there's a guy named Lee who sails beachcats with us who lives there. I think his last name is Taylor?

It really isn't terribly much warmer here, and you seem to be in town. I'd bet the trachylospermum will do quite nicely. The glossy leaves will resist frost...

sea ya

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 8:31AM
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That's a nice looking building. I like the idea of the sweet potato vine. I've used it once in my garden and was amazed at how fast two little plants grew and spread. Would be a nice contrast in color to your shrubs in the background and would also spill over the wall. The only other ground cover I can think of for the sun is liriope but it's not gonna cascade over the brick of course.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 10:23AM
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Here are some groundcovers that will take sun:
Fragaria 'Pink Panda' - Pink Panda Strawberry - low-growing, will cascade over the planter, evergreen (maybe semi-evergreen in Grenada)
Sedum - there are too many low-growing sedums to list, also taller ones to vary the height in the planter
Delosperma (Ice Plant) - another low grower with colorful flowers
Oregano - one of the cascading oreganos is beautiful
Golden Creeping Jenny - bright chartreuse - will hang over sides of planter
Ophipogon (black mondo grass) - Spiky, looks gorgeous with golden creeping Jenny
Dianthus - try Bath's Pink - spreads well and has height

A combination of sedums, creeping jenny, and black mondo grass would be dramatic, especially considering the sedum colors you could combine with the chatreuse and black. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 9:31AM
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I want to thank each and everyone of you for your input. I went and got some Jasmine the other day and planted it. Along with some ginger root that my mohter had growing in her flower bed. As soon as I am done with the work I have to do to the flower beds I will post some pictures on this thread.

The jasmine has a special place in our hearts here because it reminds us of the time when we lived in italy and we were newlyweds. We were even going to name our last child Jasmine. But a boy tends to get beat up quite often with a name like that.

Thank you again
John Kirk

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 11:48AM
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brhgm(z8b LA)

How about an herb garden to go with your culinary theme. Perhaps a native plant garden as well. Confederate jasmine is pretty aggressive and tends to climb. If you like flowers, it would be a great antique rose, or southern shrub bed.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 3:26PM
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NoSecretNow(Z9a SO-LA USA)

My favorite groundcover is Blue Verbena. It's a perennial and will come back year after year and down south here stays green much of the winter.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 9:29PM
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