Ground cover?

chase2634(z6)August 4, 2005

I recently put in an informal stone patio and wanted to place a creeping ground spread between the gaps of the stone. We have tried white creeping thyme, which in one spot has prosepered and in others had died. I'm in SE PA and the heat has been brutal and most of the patio is exposed to sun for most of the day. My fiance is becoming increasingly frustrated as am i with the money spent on other GC's that have failed like the few sedums we tried that got toasted and aren't very appealing to the eye. Does anyone have a suggestion of something that is fast growing, hardy enough to take direct sun for most of the day and is somewhat resistant to drought? I can water the patio on a daily basis if need be, but would like something hardy for weekends when we are away. I'm contemplating just going with a golf grass at this point.

? #2 does any have a suggestion for a 6ftX60ft steep embankment that i can put some kind of groundspread on. It is by a busy road and i'd rather not have to weed wack it every week. Right now it is mostly crabgrass and weeds. anything that can choke out the weeds and take over the bank with ease of care? Very little shade as well.

Thanks for any help and sorry for the long post, but i need help!

PS-I've tried the GC forum and received little help there, hence the post here.

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I'm in southwestern PA and yes the heat's been brutal this year but please don't give up. Have you considered vinca vine? It's beautiful and grows quickly, mine is still thriving in this heat. I also recommend Lamb's Ear, it thrives in full sun and has such a unique look! There are great clearance sales at many nurseries now so hopefully you can grab some of these at a cheap price right now. Don't give up!!!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 12:30PM
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Hi, something I have and love is "Ajuga". I have purchased it at Walmart and forget where else. It's semi-invasive but super beautiful. It's got reddish-purple, greenish leaves and gorgeous purple flowers, though it is low. Lamb's ear like suggested above is another fave of mine, but I have had to rip some out as it went nuts where I didn't want it to. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 1:03PM
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Thank you Steel and Redhen for your suggestions. I know my fiance likes the lamb's ear and i saw on a home DIY show they used the Ajuga, but i did not realize that it flowered..very pretty. My fiance did say if she could find the the lamb's ear she would like to plant some, but we have been hard pressed to locate any in our area so far. Would this be something i could put between the patio stones or for the embankment by our street? I also did a search yesterday and found John Creech Sedum that sounds hardy and looks nice as well as mount atlas daisy. These would be for the patio i think and possibly a low-gro sumac for the embankment if i can find it anywhere. What do you think both think of those as options?

Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 7:42AM
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Hi, I have had good luck with old-fashioned sedum acre along side my asphalt driveway. It spreads and chokes out many other plants and I do weed it once during a season but little can compete with it. I got my start of it on a trade with another Garden Webber. I have also had good luck with the ajuga but isn't as tough as the sedum. Where it has gotten dense it has gotten some kind of fungus this year and has patches that died out. When I want to start the sedum I just rip out a handful from where it is encroaching something I'd like it not to and literally chop it up with a sharp knife and spread the pieces on the ground where I want to start it. If I remember, I water it once or twice but usually just let it do it's thing.
I think a native vine like Virginia creeper would do well on your bank problem. It turns a gorgeous deep red in fall and loses it's leaves in winter.
Incidentally, lamb's ear is VERY easy to start from seed, so much so that I am careful to deadhead it before it goes to seed. I'm sure you could find some on the exchange pages.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 12:11PM
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murial(z5 PA)

Three years ago I received some Ajuga from a neighbor. The first season it covered the entire area I needed covered and each year since I've borrowed from the first garden and did the same with other plantings. Also looks great under yellow hostas. Just started another garden the other day with this underneath. Can't say enough about this groundcover. Another thing I like about it is, that if you plant some corresponding Heuchera - Palace Purple, in the same color on the other sides of the yard it looks great! I have ajuga growing in full sun and full shade. The purple blue flower in the spring is lovely as well.

As for the bank. We are undergoing the same problem and have decided to naturalize the day lillies there that you see everywhere else on the sides of the road.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 10:44AM
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Why not come to the plant swap in Ambridge on 9/3? I'll bring lambs ear for you guys! :-)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 1:30AM
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For in between your stepping stones, you may want to go to and check out their web site. You can also email them with your situation and they will get back to you with suggestions. Planting in 90 degree heat is a challange. You may be surprised. The sedum may be fine. Baby tears sedum would have been one of my suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: groundcover

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 8:18AM
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Karigraphy(z5 wpa)

Another option is the lamb's ear variety called Big Ears. It has large leaves and doesn't flower. The lamb's ears flowers are on tall stalks, attract bees, and look sloppy after they bloom unless the stalks are cut back.

Maitland or carpet roses look beautiful on a hillside, as well as forsythia that you let cascade down the slope.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 12:08AM
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