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Ground cover advice required!

(57 Posts)
StoatOfManyColours Sun 05-Aug-18 16:10:20

I have a foliage garden, anything lovely and leafy goes in. Plants are bamboo, fatsia, heuchera, ferns, brunnera, climbing hydrangea etc etc.

I made the garden from scratch a couple of years ago and there are still lots of empty spaces where I either don’t have enough plants, or those that are there haven’t filled out yet.

I’m SICK of weeding, and am thinking of planting some galloping ground cover like mind your own business or pachysandra terminalis, in the hope of covering every last inch of soil.

Is this a good idea, or will my irises never flower again, and my lawn be eaten by rampaging ground cover?

I like the look of mind your own business when it’s cascading down the side of pots etc, but I’m not sure whether a foliage garden looks better with bark between the plants.

Ta1kinpeace Sun 05-Aug-18 16:13:17

I love Ajuga and Pachysandra and lesser periwinkle and heuchera and geraniums
my soil dries out so I'm trying to cover more and more of it

SergeantPfeffer Sun 05-Aug-18 17:28:23

Hakonechloa forms lovely leafy, ground covering clumps. Likes shade.

Ta1kinpeace Sun 05-Aug-18 17:39:07

Ah, you read your copy of the Garden too smile

Floralnomad Sun 05-Aug-18 17:40:35

Agree with pp hardy geraniums , they spread like mad and nothing kills them , they are fabulous plants .

JT05 Sun 05-Aug-18 17:53:51

Persicaria covers well and has a variety of forms.

SergeantPfeffer Sun 05-Aug-18 18:34:53

wink *talkin. I have wanted one for ages though- surprisingly hard to find at garden centres! Might have to use the tinterwebs.

viques Sun 05-Aug-18 18:43:47

Do not under any circumstances plant any of the following as ground cover

Ivy, vinca, Huchera , sweet woodruff, mind your own business,celandine.they are maximum security thugs and you will rue the day.

Agree that geraniums are the bees knees, come in lots of different forms and are easy to control. Also like Japanese anemone, though very seasonal for cover, acquelegia, ladies mantle and sedum. The last few won't give all round year cover but will give Spring/ summer/early autumn interest colour and height.

SergeantPfeffer Sun 05-Aug-18 19:26:32

Aquilegia, Japanese anemones and ladies mantle are the thugs where I live. Wish my heuchera would take over! Guess it depends on your soil/weather.

Ta1kinpeace Sun 05-Aug-18 20:23:37

Ditto - I blowtorch anemones

heuchera is perfect on my soil

StoatOfManyColours Sun 05-Aug-18 21:07:16

Thanks for the ideas. Aren’t Japanese anemones really tall? I’m looking for something that hugs the ground I think.

Oh dear, I already have heucheras shock

SergeantPfeffer Sun 05-Aug-18 21:12:33

I would look at epimediums as well.

Trethew Mon 06-Aug-18 01:27:11

For low plants in my shady foliage garden to give texture I use:
Gunnera magellanica
Gunnera prorepens
Parochetus communis
Muehlenbeckia axillaris
Adiantum venustum (maidenhair fern)
Ajuga Chocolate Chip
Asarum europaeum
Cardamine trifolia
Viola hederifolium

Sorry about the Latin but not many have common names

SergeantPfeffer Mon 06-Aug-18 08:32:20

Ooh, I love Asarum, where did you buy it from? Does it need an alkali soil?

StoatOfManyColours Mon 06-Aug-18 08:34:07

Ooh, a whopper list Trethew. My favourite of those is Muehlenbeckia axillaris, which I love but Google tells me it's not great in cold winds, which is a shame as I'm near the sea. Maybe I should get one to try, though, and maybe try a gunnera magellanica.

The garden is mostly sunny, otherwise I'd swathe the whole lot in asarum europaeum, as I love the dark glossy leaves. It seems hard to get hold of though.

Ohyesiam Mon 06-Aug-18 08:36:27

What weeds do you have? Annuals will not be able to seed with a really thick layer of mulch, but perennials will still find a way.

StoatOfManyColours Mon 06-Aug-18 08:43:01

I don't know what they all are, but there are the usual suspects like dandelions and chickweed. Quite a lot of foxgloves too, although I leave those be - even though they don't quite fit with the foliage garden concept grin I'd feel awful for the bees if I got rid.

I cleared loads of weeds yesterday, and am going to get some mulch sorted hopefully in the next day or so to deter incomers.

peridito Mon 06-Aug-18 10:36:52

I'm a big fan of lamiums .

Oldraver Mon 06-Aug-18 12:51:25

Oh I love the look of Hakonechloa, Waitrose has a red one, though where I want ground cover is in full sun

SergeantPfeffer Mon 06-Aug-18 12:55:24

Right, off to Waitrose grin

StoatOfManyColours Mon 06-Aug-18 14:07:46

Hakonechloa are beautiful, and I have three, but they grow at a glacial speed. I want the equivalent of living tarmac. grin

Oldraver Mon 06-Aug-18 15:52:50

grin @living horizontal bamboo

StoatOfManyColours Mon 06-Aug-18 16:26:14

Absolutely! Someone should invent that.

My bamboos are kept very firmly in pots standing on concrete slabs hidden behind shrubs in the beds, I'm so terrified of them escaping and rampaging up the street!

Trethew Tue 07-Aug-18 19:00:14

Good old Saxifraga Umbrosa - London Pride

StoatOfManyColours Wed 08-Aug-18 05:44:52

I like the look of that Trethew, but wonder if it would be happy in full sun on sandy-ish soil.

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