Need Suggestions for a 'Flowering' Ground Cover (pics)

dtownjbrown(6a-CintiOH)April 29, 2010

Now that the the threat of frost is FINALLY behind us (knock on wood), I'm ready to start planting in an area I amended three weeks ago. It faces south on a slight downward slope and gets dappled sun all day (except around 6pm when it gets direct light for about an hour before the sun goes to bed).

Ive done a little research and I really like the look if the Sweet Woodruff, Creepy Jenny, Lily of the Valley, Ajuga and Vinca Minor (in that order) but here are my dilemnas: (1) I want something with a long bloom period...(2) I want to put more than one plant in that spot (?competition?)...(3) Im concerned about intrusion into my existing lawn

Any suggestions? Thanks :-)

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mandolls(4)

I have both sweet woodruff and vinca minor growing in my yard. The vinca definitely flowers for a longer period - on and off all growing season. It also is evergreen right through Wisconsin winters!. But the sweet woodruff is lovely even when it is not flowering, and grows better in shade. It is also much easier to mix with other plants, the roots are not deep, it stays low to the ground, and other plants can grow right up through it easily. I have ferns primroses and hostas that move right up through it with no problems. Lily of the valley has a very shot bloom time and isnt really a ground cover (though nice growing through the sweet woodruff, I havent had much luck with ajuga, it comes back every year, but hasn't spread much.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 8:44AM
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madisonkathy

Some of the perennial geraniums bloom off and on all season and grow well in dappled shade. Would look great with golden creeping jenny or a lamium.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 9:45AM
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dtownjbrown(6a-CintiOH)

@mandolls - which variety of vinca do you have? I did some more internet searching and it looks like there is only one choice for Sweet Woodruff but the varieties of Vinca are numerous.

@madisonkathy - I tried geraniums a couple years ago and didnt like the look of them (too dainty). Thanks for the lamium suggestion though, I hadnt looked at those yet.

Also, I have a small tree in the middle of my lawn that I want to try "no-dig" planting under this year (see pic below). I want a "curbside effect" so I think both Sweet Woodruff and Vinca may be to compact for that spot, therefore Im leaning towards Lily of the Valley or Ajuga. Any advice or tips on planting either of these under a tree? Can I get away with both or will one try to overtake the other?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:54AM
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mandolls(4)

I am afraid that I'm not sure what variety of vinca I have growing. I bought it a a local nursery 5 or 6 years ago. Looking at pics on the web it looks most like the "traditional". solid green shiny leaves, with deep violet flowers. It would be my vote for a front entrance. Most of the other shade loving ground covers have a more woodland feel.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 7:33AM
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dtownjbrown(6a-CintiOH)

For a less aggressive spreader......which would you all suggest between vinca minor, creeing jenny and sweet woodruff? I want to "tie" the look into my front entrance beds (but dont want it to be overtaken). Thanks

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 7:09AM
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mandolls(4)

From another site "Q: I have creeping Jenny in my azala, rose and hydranga beds. It seems to suffocate the roses. Do I need to worry about it suffocating any other plants?

A: Creeping Jenny has one of the most extensive root systems on Earth and will smother everything near it. IÂd do something to get it out of your landscape beds if they are of value to you, even if it means hiring a landscape maintenance company to come in and do the work."

The vinca and the sweet woodruff both are easily controlled where I live. My vinca grows in a 1 1/2 foot swatch along both sides of my front walk way, I trim a little out every year in the spring, and snip occasional trailer off over the summer. The Sweet Woodruff has such shallow roots that it can easily be pulled by hand.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 7:46AM
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