Return to the New to Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

First ever garden- ground cover?

Posted by Jessie23 8 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 10:23

Hi! I'm a college student, just moved out of home to a studio- and it has a small (6 m2) garden. I've never done gardening before, I'd like to try but have no idea where to start!

As far as I can tell, I'm in zone 8, (in Lyon, France). I don't know anything about the soil. The garden faces south-east, but there is a tall (2m) hedge and some trees further out, so not that much direct sunlight. It hasn't been touched for some years- the owners recently cleaned it out, and so it's pretty much just a lot of exposed dirt, some small plants and small patches of moss.
I have no idea what to do! Preferably, something not too time consuming or expensive, though.

I was thinking about getting something to cover the soil, like grass.
I've heard of clover and moss? That seem interesting because of the shade- and less maintenance!

But I don't know if it would work, how to start, what to do, where to get it... Any help please?

Maybe later I'd like to get some herbs or small plants- Are lavender, mint(in a pot) rosemary, thyme.... Unrealistic? I'm lost!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First ever garden- ground cover?

If not much direct sunlight, then you are looking at plants that will tolerate shade. That includes some lovely groundcovers (vinca, baby tears, pachysandra, sweet woodruff) but also includes things like ferns and various flowering perennials (dicentra, hellebores, astilbe) and a number of small shrubs. You may want to check at any garden center or retail plant nursery in your area for suggestions and availability.

Most herbs want a good amount of a be happy and grow well. Mint (also parsley) can tolerate the least amount of sunlight.

RE: First ever garden- ground cover?

"small patches of moss." This indicates pretty deep shade that is consistently moist.

Generally, variegated and chartreuse foliage and white/very light colored flowers show up well in shade, and even in the dark. There are a ton of plants for shady gardens, shouldn't be hard to find many 'out there.' I don't know how things are done in France, but it's kind of dull, gardening-wise around here for the next couple months. You might be able to grow some lettuce? I'm not that good at veggies.

In the spring though, you should be able to find tons of cool things like Begonias, Coleus, cool elephant ears, Caladiums, Tradescantias, Plectranthus, Impatiens, sweet potato vines of various colors, Persian Shield, Alternantheras, Perilla, and so many decorative foliage and flowering plants for shade.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the New to Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here