Top 10 Gorgeous Ground Covers

Struggling to find just the right ground cover?  Check out my Top 10 Gorgeous Ground Covers and see if one or two or ten strikes your fancy...:)  Enjoy, and as always, love hearing from you! 

Chester on a carpet of Purple Goose-Leaf.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Chester on a carpet of Purple Goose-Leaf.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

1.  Purple Goose-Leaf
    Acaena inermis 'Pupurea'

A stunning low growing ground cover from New Zealand.  3" tall by a 12" wide.  Scalloped leaves 3" across with 11-15 tiny purple-brown leaflets creates a carpet of delicate fern-like foliage.  In the summer, tiny globe-shaped flowers (brownish-green sepals with white anthers), rise above the foliage on short stems.  Plant between paving stones, on a garden wall, and on banks and slopes.  Gorgeous mixed with bright gold foliaged plants.  Plant in full to partial sun.  Needs a well-drained location.  Drought tolerant once established.  Evergreen. 
Zones 6-9.

2.  White Nancy Dead Nettle
     Lamium maculatum
      'White Nancy'

In the foreground, Lamium White Nancy.  In the background, a sea of White Star Creeper creeping along the paving stones.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

In the foreground, Lamium White Nancy.  In the background, a sea of White Star Creeper creeping along the paving stones. 
Photo by Holly Stickley.

White Nancy produces milky-white clusters of small, hooded flowers in late spring and sporadically throughout the summer.  Just 6" high, spreading to 18".  Stunning silvery leaves with narrow green margins.  An eye-catching ground cover even when not in bloom.  Plant in partial sun.  Needs regular water.  Semi-evergreen.  Zones 3-8.

3.  White Star Creeper
     Isotoma fluviatilis alba

I love both the blue and white star creepers.  Tiny green leaves form a dense carpet 2-4" tall, spreading 12-18" wide.  Delightful tiny star-shaped flowers smother this plant all summer long.  Plant in full or partial sun. Needs weekly water or more in extreme heat.  Evergreen.  Zones 5-9.

Angelina Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Angelina Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

4.  Angelina Stonecrop
     Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'

Brilliant chartreuse-yellow, needle-like foliage spreads quickly to form a low mat-forming ground cover, 4" tall by 24" wide.  In late spring, flat, broccoli-shaped flower heads with upward-facing, starry-crystalline blooms emerge.  Gorgeous planted around perennials and annuals with dark colored foliage.  Adds bright color to flowering borders, containers, and dry slopes.  Amber-orange winter color in northern climates.  Best in full sun.  Drought tolerant once established.  Evergreen.  Zones 3-11.

Red Creeping Thyme.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Red Creeping Thyme.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

5.  Red Creeping Thyme
     Thymus praecox
     'Coccineus'

Early summer brings a blanket of deep lavender-red blooms on this fast spreading, semi-evergreen ground cover.  Just 3 to 6" tall by 12 to 18" wide, the foliage is intensely fragrant when crushed.  Charming when planted between paving stones and trailing over edges of pots.  Tolerates light foot traffic.  Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.  Water regularly when top 3" of soil is dry.  Evergreen in the south.  Semi-evergreen in the north.  Zones 4-8.

Veronica Georgia Blue.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Veronica Georgia Blue.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

6.  Veronica Georgia Blue    
     Veronica peduncularis      
     'Georgia Blue'

A mass of long-blooming small blue-purple flowers blanket this low-growing purple tinged, medium green foliage for months, and sporadically throughout the year.  A great weed-suppressor or cover for spent spring bulbs.  And, it's nice to have a ground cover that blooms late winter, early spring.  Plant in full to partial sun.  Needs regular water.  Evergreen.  Zones 4-9.

Golden Japanese Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Golden Japanese Stonecrop.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

7.  Golden Japanese Stonecrop
     Sedum makinoi 'Ogon'

I love this perennial for its delicate, bright golden-yellow foliage, and its tolerance of partial shade.  2" tall by 12" wide.  Insignificant tiny yellow starry flowers in spring.  Striking color accent in rock gardens, rock walls or containers.  Can take all but the hottest sun.  Moderate water every 10-14 days.  Herbaceous perennial.  Zones 6-9.

Black Mondo Grass & Lamium White Nancy.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Black Mondo Grass & Lamium White Nancy. 
Photo by Holly Stickley.

 

 

 

8.  Black Mondo Grass
     Ophiopogon planiscapus
     'Nigrescens'

Stunning purplish black, grass-like foliage.  Great for edging and in mass or with contrasting bright colors.  Produces dark lavender flowers and purple fall berries.  In my garden I've planted it underneath my berm of black bamboo and on another berm with Lamium 'White Nancy.'  Fabulous in mixed containers too.  Spreads slowly.  Plant in full to partial sun.  Needs regular water.  Evergreen.  Zones 5-10.

9.  Black Scallop Bugleweed
     Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop'

My favorite ajuga.  Glossy, oversized deep purplish-black scalloped-shaped foliage.  In spring, short spikes of vibrant deep blue flowers makes a dramatic contrast with the dark foliage.  Mat forming, 3 to 10" tall by 3' wide.  Plant a foot apart to fill in quickly or space 3' for more gradual coverage.  A gorgeous ground cover for the garden floor or spilling over a container edge.  For the darkest leaf color, plant in full sun.  Can tolerate part shade.  Drought tolerant once established.  Evergreen in mild and warm climates.  Zones 4-11.

Dickson's Gold Bellflower and Black Scallop Bugleweed.  Photo by Holly Stickley.

Dickson's Gold Bellflower and Black Scallop Bugleweed. 
Photo by Holly Stickley.

10.  Dickson's Gold Bellflower
      Campanula garganica           
'Dickson's Gold’

Dickson's Gold Bellflower is a gorgeous bright, gold-leaved bellflower.  Just 4-6" tall, spreading 8-10".  The foliage has interesting texture with its serrated saw-tooth edges.  In summer, starry lavender-blue flowers compliment the compact mounds of golden foliage.  Gorgeous planted alongside dark colored foliage.  Plant in full sun for gold color foliage, or partial shade for chartreuse color foliage.  Needs good drainage.  Regular water during the summer.  Herbaceous perennial.  Zones 5-7.

If you have any questions or would like to share your favorite ground cover, drop me a line in the comment box below.  Click the rectangle icon and give it a little time, the computer has to think...:)

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear

What You Can Do With 19"

What I mean is... what you can do with a 'planting depth' of 19"..:) 

I like to design and replant the side of my driveway every few years.  Here are a few design ideas of what you can do with a shallow depth of planting space.  My first design was with Light pink/coral Knock Out Roses and Blue Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'.

I enjoyed the early growth of both the roses and the grasses.  Later in the season, I had to snip the roses to keep them from spilling out too much, while still retaining their free-flowing look.  The switch grasses made a nice compliment to the roses with their soft breezy movement.  In the Fall, however, the grasses started to flop a bit, so I had to prune here and there.  I kept the grasses up through the Winter, so that I'd have some structure in the bed with their tan colored seed heads.  I usually prune grasses early Spring.  I love the lush look.  I might do this again, maybe with deep red roses...:)

Light Pink/Coral Knock Out Roses & Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' 

Light Pink/Coral Knock Out Roses & Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' 

Cushion Spurge    / Euphorbia 
			 hybrid   Blackbird    Variegated Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam', Angelina Stonecrop / Sedum rupestre 'Angelina', Queen of Night Tulip    

Cushion Spurge / Euphorbia hybrid Blackbird 

Variegated Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam', Angelina Stonecrop / Sedum rupestre 'Angelina', Queen of Night Tulip

 

Another design idea:  Euphorbia 'Blackbird' with the Variegated Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam' and the ground cover Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'.  The euphorbia and sedum are evergreen, so you'll have something in the bed during the Winter. 

In the Fall, I planted the dark purple/black 'Queen of Night' Tulip.  They made a dramatic statement the following Spring.  I wasn't happy with the reed grass because the location was too hot for this grass.  It can't take the heat as well as its parent 'Karl Forester'.  So, if I was to recreate this combination again, I'd use 'Karl Forester'.

 

Here's my current 'look'.   I started with finding the right evergreen plant.  I decided on the columnar Japanese Holly, Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil', which gives a linear upright structure and great for tight narrow spaces.  This year, I decided to go more vibrant in my color selection, so I planted Canna 'Tropicana' with the sun tolerant red/orange Wax Begonia and the dark purple/blue Lobelia  to bring out the colors of the canna foliage.  For added interest and strengthening the tropical feel I planted the Dwarf Fountain Grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'.  So far everything is growing nicely.  I should be getting vibrant orange canna blossoms in the next few weeks.  I've been making sure everything is watered deeply, especially since we've had many days in the 80's and 90's.

Japanese Holly, Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil', Canna 'Tropicana', Wax Begonia, Lobelia, Dwarf Fountain Grass Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'   

Japanese Holly, Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil', Canna 'Tropicana', Wax Begonia, Lobelia, Dwarf Fountain Grass Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'

 

Anyone else have a shallow planting bed design you'd like to share? 

Also, check out the links at the bottom of this post.  You can comment, like, and share.

Enjoy and always love hearing from you.

Till the next time...

Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear