Looking for groundcover suggestions

jacqueinthegorge(USDA 8 / Sunset 5)August 6, 2014

Shady area, I've already planted some sweet woodruff. I'd like to mingle it with something of similar stature that will stay green throughout the winter. Suggestions?

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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I grow mostly trees and shrubs with very few perennials so I need a fairly vigorous groundcover to keep the weeds at a minimum. Sweet Woodruff is a weed to me. It gets into places I don't want it and it's hard to control unless I bring up the scale a bit. This form of hardy Geranium works for me. I don't know the name of it and hopefully someone on this Forum can ID it. It keeps most garden weeds from growing in it once it gets established. It seeds here and there, transplants easy, doesn't climb, and is easy to pull up. It stays green in the winter and blooms in April. What more can you ask of a groundcover?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:31AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Here's some more lining a path.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:38AM
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Co-mingling groundcovers is not usually a very successful practice :-) One always tends to be more aggressive than another and will claim most of the territory, if not overwhelming its partner completely. While I tend to agree with Mike about the sweet woodruff - a nasty piece of work in my book - if you are happy with it, I'd just encourage it to spread more (I can't believe I said that!!!). Otherwise, I'd pick something else altogether. Vinca minor is a reasonable choice but may need some containment in certain areas. My favored shade groundcover is Adiantum venustum, Himalayan maidenhair fern. Evergreen, attractive and spreads moderately. Also a Great Plants Pick.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:03PM
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I was going to post Himalayan fern too! I have some along my foundation on the east wall. I never water it and it stays nice all summer, so it should do well under trees with water, if that's your shady area. Bloedel Reserve has it encircling a tree for about 8 feet out. I also have it under my water spigot in part shade.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:16AM
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jacqueinthegorge(USDA 8 / Sunset 5)

Interesting! I don't like Vinca at all, esp V. major, requires lots of work to keep under control, while the only issue I've ever had with sweet woodruff is its barrenness in the winter. Not to mention I love the scent.

I'll look into the himalayan fern, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:30PM
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All these are growing in my dryish shade woodland:

Ajuga 'Catlin's Giant'
Corydalis cheilanthifolia
Saxifraga x urbium
Saxifraga x geum --growing in dry shade
Saxifraga veitchii
Chrysosplenium macrophyllum
Chrysosplenium davidianum --needs more moisture
Chiastophyllum oppositifolium
Geranium macrorrhizum --mixed with Sweet Woodruff in places.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:55PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I love my Epimedium. Green all winter, needs a haircut in spring (I just use shears) then sweet little yellow flowers poke up followed quickly by new, spring green leaves.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:19PM
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