If not Grass what else?

aloha2009October 20, 2012

Though I am not using any grass in the backyard, I'd like a "restful" look that grass tends to give on the interior and keep the flowers on the perimeter. We've considered a tiny bit of grass but the hassle of dragging down a flight of stairs to reach a tiny bit of grass just didn't pass the lower maintenance plan we have envisioned.

That said, I need something as NEAT and TIDY as possible but it doesn't have to endure walking upon. It needs to look nice the entire summer and once established it would be nice to have it look nice mid spring to mid fall. I've considered just putting bark in the area but if at all possible I'd like to have it green/colorful.

I've seen some pics of some things, but I don't know how some of these things may hold up in Colorado.

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treebarb Z5 Denver

Ajuga, kinnikinnick, and creeping thyme are all that are jumping out at me right now. What kind of sun does the area get and will you be watering?


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Thanks for the ideas treebarb.

The area will get full sun for quite a few years and then dappled shade once the Seven Sons Flower has matured.

Though I've heard of kinnikinnick, I don't think I've ever seen it IRL. I did some reading per your suggestion of the plant and it sounds almost too perfect. Is there anything that makes it undesirable? I read that it's readily available, but I've never noticed it before. I'll have an area about 12' x 8' to fill in so I need a lot. The pics though have piqued my interest.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Kinnikinnick grows aaaalll over in the forests of Canada & the northern US. A pretty plant, I'm not sure how well it competes with weeds but it might be okay in that regard.

Have I missed it in the garden centers? Cotoneaster is everywhere but kinnikinnick is a friendlier plant, it seems to me.

I've got 2 varieties of sedum in the yard. I'm not terribly fond of either. One is that Fine Gold Leaf but I don't know what the other is. That other one can sure out-compete the strawberry plants under a backyard tree . . .


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 2:08PM
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My personal favorite is Veronica prostrata. It's thick enough to keep out weeks, has a lovely leaf and turns into a carpet of periwinkle blue in the spring.

Here is a link that might be useful: Veronica prostrata

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 3:19PM
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