Groundcover advice - hot, sunny spot

sweetmagnoliameMay 16, 2009

Hi all,

I need help with groundcover between stepping stones on the hot, dry south side of my house. I planted red creeping thyme along/between the stones 4 years ago and it's gorgeous, except in the spots where my 100-lb dog likes to lie down. He's in the house all day so it's not like he's lying on it all day, but so far the thyme has not made it in those spots, even with a couple of replantings. After adding mulch for a few years the ground alongside and between the stones is level with the top of the stones. The soil between the stones is like concrete (clay-based soil). I've been thinking about digging out the areas between the stones and trying some kind of ground cover that is thicker (like moss) than the thyme, which basically grows on top of the ground. Something with roots that are not so close to ground level...if that makes sense. A moss would look great, but I doubt it would survive this area. There is a bit of shade from a columnar cherry tree, but it's basically hot and sunny.

Any ideas?



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I'm not too sure of your zone, but, out here, I have moss between my stones and it is happy living in the clay. However, the parts that get the mid-afternoon and afternoon shade are quite mossier than the parts that get all day southern sun, and, the parts that get the most sun do not hold anything but weeds. Also, the moss seems to live even when it pops out. How to explain?...little clumps of it pop out from between the stones and just lie on top, happy and green. I think my dogs claw at it, pee on it and such. Not sure the roots are that deep.
I hope that helps!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 12:49AM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

I have creeping baby's breath as a ground cover next to snow in summer, they well in my sunny front yard and get about 3+ inches high when they start blooming so I'm not sure whether those would work between stepping stones. Maybe sedum would work better for you there or the cinquefoil that was mentioned on another thread. It stays low to the ground even when blooming. I have it in the back between the retaining wall and patio as a kind of living border.

Dafy Jen

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 4:39PM
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david52 Zone 6

Ice plant? Not your usual suspect for stepping stones, but here, it thrives in hot sunny areas - but does need some water now and again to do really well.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 7:16PM
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Dan Staley

Veronica levanensis or Veronica pectinata. Sky-blue fls just got done, medium-green lvs, tough.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:59AM
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