Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Ground cover plants

We all fight the weeds in all kinds of more or less successful methods. Weeding by hand, mulching and hoeing are some of the ways to get rid of weeds. In some cases, we can simply let the nature take care of it by planting some of the ground-covers. The thing is simple - you only have to plant one of these wonderful plants and they will eventually cover the ground leaving the weeds no chance to survive. These are my favourites.

Ajuga reptans, Bugle

Ajuga reptans (Fam: Lamiaceae) spreads by runners and makes a dense mat in a short period of time. It can be grown in a partial shade or full sun. It is a low growing plant that bears blue or purple flowers in April and May. This one on the photo is Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea' with dark-purple evergreen leaves. There are cultivars such as 'Burgundy Glow' with tricoloured foliage (pink, white and green) which is not so invasive like the other. I have them planted under shrubs and front of the flower borders. Our native Ajuga reptans is equally beautiful when in full bloom, only the leaves are plane green.

Hedera sp., Ivy

Hedera helix (Fam: Araliaceae) is really a wonderful plant. I use it to climb the walls or as a ground cover. Being evergreen is another good thing about it. Ivy comes in a range of foliage shape and form, and variegated cultivars lighten up dark corners in the garden.

Polygonum affine, Knot weed

Polygonum affine, (Fam: Polygonaceae) is low growing, evergreen perennial. It likes moderately moist soil and semi-shade to sunny spot in the garden. In summer the spikes of pink flowers appear and keep on flowering for a long period of time. You will find it also under the name Persicaria affinis.

Waldsteinia ternata, Golden strawberry

Waldsteinia ternata, (Fam: Rosaceae) is my latest purchase for my new "Hosta Garden". I need it for the front of the shade border. It covers the ground pretty quickly. Plant is only 30 cm high and produces lots of yellow flowers in April.

Vinca minor 'Imagine', Periwinkle

Vinca minor, (Fam: Apocynaceae). I have it planted under the shrubs. It is evergreen, with shiny leaves and blue flowers that flower in spring. There are cultivars with white flowers or variegated leaves.


  1. As much as I admire the Ajuga plant I have to say that it's invasive nature has rendered it a real pest for me as it took over my whole garden and necessitated hours of toil with a large garden fork in order to take back control. It's runners radiate 360 degrees and it slowly chokes out all the surrounding plants and shrubs, it will even 'travel' across concrete to seek out further growing areas. My message would be BEWARE of the tempting beauty of this plant.

  2. I completely agree with you about Ajgua but,like every invasive plant, it should be kept under control. I use it mostly to under plant shrubs.


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