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Ground cover on a downhill below a pool

Posted by bart1 6/7 Northern VA (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 22, 10 at 13:38

I'm having a pool installed on a slight hill. The uphill portion is near the house and the downhill portion is on the far side of the pool/house. The main (concrete) deck is between the house and pool but there will be a 3 foot wide section of decking on the far side of the pool just above a long downhill sloping area.

I'd like to fill this area with some sort of ground cover that requires little or no maintenance (ie: no grass to mow, no mess on the deck).

Some other considerations:

- I'm in Northern Virginia, in full sun.
- I'd like the ground cover to be as low as possible (6-12" max, but less is better)
- I don't mind flowers that attract bees or hummingbirds
- It's highly likely that the ground cover will be stepped on, walked on and splashed with (slightly) salty water. (My pool will have a salt water generator, but my understanding is that if everything is properly adjusted that you can't taste the salt in the water)
- Native species are preferable, but I understand that may not be possible.
- Beauty would be nice, but not a requirement. I'm picturing this area as a living border between the pool deck and the flower garden/natural area below whose purpose is to keep dirt and mulch and grass clippings off the deck and out of the water.

So given all of my preferences and constraints, does anything come to mind as a plant (or plants) that would fit the bill?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ground cover on a downhill below a pool

Hi Bart!
Guess everyone is out doing fall cleanup or planting bulbs!
2 things come to mind for your situation - low growing sedums or thyme.
I have varieties of both planted along our "hellstrip". They both get occasional foot traffic (dogs mostly) and road salt in winter; neither seems bothered by those.
The thyme needs a spring trim to remove winter damaged or killed tops; the sedum needs a trim after flowering. I have variegated lemon thyme and the sedum is 'Angeline'.
A neighbor has made a very attractive tapestry of small, low growing sedums.
You might find other suitable groundcovers at a site like Stepables.
Good luck with your project.

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