Growing Concerns: Ground cover choices abound for sun and shade

I spent the morning in the garden the other day cleaning up a couple of areas in that always seems to be full of weeds. Now what to do with that area?

Off to the garden centre I went with a challenge and a mission.

I was looking for something that was low growing and would fill in a fairly large area. I wanted something with interesting foliage and that just might flower. I also have two different areas. One is in full hot sun all day and the other is in semi shade

I found a few things that would work in the shady area.

Epimedium, also known as barrenwort, is a wonderful plant with a bright lime-green heart-shaped leaf with red accents that turns bronzy red in the fall. As a bonus, it has clusters of small pink, crimson or white flowers in early summer. It grows about six to eight inches tall and around two feet in diameter.

Bugleweed, ajuga reptans, is low growing rosette foliage in shades of purple or variegated white, pink and green. It creates a thick dense mat of leaves and has a showy flower of spikes of blue, pink or white blooms. Once the blooms are finished you need to cut back the flower heads or you can cheat and run them over with the lawn mower.

Lamium, spotted deadnettle, is one of my favourites with its variegated leaves and beautiful pink and purple flowers. It is quick to cover an area and is well enough behaved to stay in place. And don’t forget it is deer resistant as well.

Now let’s not forget about full sun.

Creeping thyme is wonderful for any hot dry location like between stepping stones or along a walkway. I love it under roses with its blue-grey or bright green foliage and tiny white flowers in the spring. Some of the new varieties have pink or purple flowers.

Creeping phlox is another great ground cover with blue, pink or white flowers in the spring and a thick mat of needle-like foliage all summer long.

Something I am going to try this year is ice plant, which is a succulent that enjoys the summer heat with long narrow needle-like leaves and daisy-like blooms in an array of colours.

Last but not least are the unlimited number of sedums in so many colours of foliage and blooms that it is hard to list them all. I like the red or blue-grey foliage. And as a bonus these plants flower as well.

Carpet roses can also make a showy ground cover that will bloom all summer long.

These are just a few of the finds at the garden centre. Stop by today and add a few new ground covers to your garden

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