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Ground cover - what to put in my beds?

(13 Posts)
ninah Wed 03-Sep-08 21:54:35

I've had an unkempt hilly back garden terraced - it's now lawn with two beds for veg/flower. Since the garden still slopes upwards I don't want anything too tall in there, say 18inches max - I was told about an evergreen plant, blue-purple flowers for ground cover called something like see-osaurus? I should have written it down because I've obviosly got the name wrong, can't find it anywhere. Any suggestions? I'm looking for texture, green and white, bit of purple, easy maintenance foliage and maybe some herbs and veg in there too. And if anyone could suggest a tall shrub in a pot I can use to fill a gap to screen next door garden, you'll have made my day!

misi Wed 03-Sep-08 22:53:53

aubretia by any chance?

how about a tall bamboo in a pot? grows quickly but the pot constricts the roots (thankfully) and you can get greem white or black bamboo (the stems)

what sort of soil have you? if acidic then some heathers would be good for green and purple and white as you can get heathers with all manner of colour flowers.

misi Wed 03-Sep-08 22:56:59

was it ceoanthus the ground cover plant possibly?
you can get tall ones and ground cover varieties and thay have purple/blue flowers

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 03-Sep-08 23:01:40

Vinca (periwinkle) would fit your requirements for ground cover and is low maintenance. Or ajuga - there are some variegated varieties. Both have blue/purple flowers.

The nearest I can think of to your plant name is ceanothus (California lilac) which is quite a tall shrub with blue flowers. Can you give us any more clues?

What's the soil like? Are the beds in sun during the day or shaded? That will make some difference to what will thrive there.

Pannacotta Thu 04-Sep-08 15:34:07

Also think it sounds like ceoanothus.
What will do well in your garden depends on conditions such as soil, geography and frost and aspect, so need more details.
Re the pot, are you looking for evergreen? If so you could plant a thornless holly, or viburnum or even a climber?

ninah Thu 04-Sep-08 22:25:45

ceanothus, that's it! thanks, that's great.
The soil is clay-y, not sure about ph balance. I was told that hydrangeas grow pink or blue dependent on acid in soil, not sure if that's true - but I have pink one side blue the other.
Beds are on the north aspect but get sun particularly in the afternoons.
I am liking bamboo. I am looking up viburnum.
Thanks! off to look at links now smile

ninah Thu 04-Sep-08 22:30:08

I think aubretia, ceanothus, some herbs like thyme and sage, bit of lavender in the beds. And a viburnum for the gap.
Really appreciate the advice, thanks.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Fri 05-Sep-08 10:00:31

Had forgotten about prostrate (low-growing) ceanothus. Prostrate rosemary might also tick your boxes, although you'd have to add some grit to the clay to improve drainage. Roses like clay and there are some low-growing ones.

missingtheaction Fri 05-Sep-08 10:23:00

all those plants will prefer good drainage so if your soil is claggy they may be unhappy. aka dead.

even things that say they will stay small can get big - be VERY careful with your choice of ceanothus OR be prepared to rip it out in 5 years and put in something idfferent.

why do you want everythign so small? and so coordinated? it will be tasteful but watchout as it could get very boring indeed. how about some taller see-through stuff like verbena bonariensis, grasses, veronicastrum.

good time of year to put bulbs in between the other plants, they will tart it up in teh spring and early summer

no garden is complete without some cranesbills (perennial geraniums) - there are loads of blue and white ones (and blue-and-white ones) but how about chucking in some wispy magenta ones to perk it all up, psilostemon or Anne Folkard are gooduns.

ninah Sat 06-Sep-08 21:41:26

Want it small so I can see over it up hill to rest of garden. Quite steep. grin at unhappy aka dead. OK. Grit. Prostrate ceanothus, rosemary - thyme sage lavender. Tulips. Monitor. If it gets dull add the taller see-through stuff, and a touch of magenta. Thanks.

Pannacotta Sun 07-Sep-08 19:16:43

IMNE viburnum will grow im most conditions, not too fussy at all. Ceanothus is ok on poord, dry soil though I have had success with it in clay soils too.
But agree with the suggestion re gernaiums and adding some hits of colour, I love hot pink in the garden. Have some bright bright pink Japanese anenomes flowering now (next to geramium psilostemon in fact) and they are gorgeous.
This might be of interest re your terrced garden (its a lovely gardening site generally)

ninah Wed 10-Sep-08 09:55:44

Now that's lovely. I've found that gardening sites vary and the ones I've come across by googling haven't always been that good. So thanks. Love looking at photos for inspiration. Mine a long way off from that yet!

Pannacotta Wed 10-Sep-08 20:10:04

No harm in dreaming though ninah!

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