GROUND COVER PLANTS
Whenever you’re designing the style and look of your landscape, curating an assortment of plants to provide variety in color, texture, and height is a surefire way to create a look that is fashionable in a way that endures. While tall and brightly colored flowers are a vivid statement piece, they look their best complemented with other more subtle, low-lying blooms. The stars of the show might shine and catch your attention in the summer, but their subtle backup dancers do a lot of the heavy lifting to compliment them and fill in the look.
There are a lot of beautiful plants that provide garden-saving ground cover, and they come in a variety of looks from flowering to all about the foliage. There are so many, in fact, that it’s all up to you what you want to see more of in your landscape.
PERENNIAL PLANTS FOR GROUND COVER
If you’re looking for something reliable that you can enjoy as ground cover year after year, these perennials will give you what you’re looking for:
Creeping Phlox: This flowering plant is supremely popular, and we can see why: their star-shaped blooms offer a wide variety of colors while still being relatively low-maintenance. They tend to spread over time taking up even more ground, but if they overstep their bounds, you can always dig them up, divide them, and grow them elsewhere.
Dianthus “Sternkissun”: This ground cover is drought-tolerant and thrives in full sun or partial sun conditions where it can soak up some rays. Green leaves set against pink and fragrant blossoms are a treat for us and pollinators but will repel deer and pests.
Sedum: These gorgeous succulents come in hundreds of colors and shapes, all providing an elegant new style to appreciate in your garden. Our favorite is the Blue Pearl variety, whose bright and unique foliage stays a vibrant shade of blue from spring through fall. Show off this unique look in borders, lining pathways, or on garden edges.
Arabis: This plant offers ultra-dense cover with many flowers. What better way to cover gaps in your garden bed than with it’s white or pink blooms that thrive in full sun?
BEST CHOICES FOR FULL SUN GROUND COVER
If your landscape isn’t protected from the sun by trees, you’ll want to select plants that will thrive with lots of sunlight, giving you impressive displays of color all summer. These are some of the classic full-sun ground cover plants that don’t shy away from a little sun:
Creeping Thyme: This plant is not only gorgeous, but delicious, too! This is a must-have herb for your kitchen and barbeque but will charm your garden with both its earthy fragrance and dainty purple flowers at the end of spring.
Brass Buttons: This hardy ground cover is so tough that it’s likely to spread even further than you wanted! Simply divide this plant if it starts to overrun its boundaries. We love the look of its spiky and button-shaped chartreuse flowers.
Lady’s Mantle: This plant has dusty green foliage with scalloped edges that is simply charming in the garden. Their muted tones make them the perfect match for almost any color and design combination. The little clusters of lemon-lime blooms that it produces from long stems are an adorable decoration in the garden.
BEST SHADED GROUND COVER
Whether covered up by a tree canopy or nestled up to a fence, there are lots of corners in every garden that are shaded and need fillers that require a little less direct sun. These plants thrive in shaded conditions but don’t skimp on style and look:
Creeping Jenny: Although this plant is built for the shade, its vibrant foliage is like a burst of sunshine. Yellow-green leaves and golden flowers highlight this gorgeous plant, but don’t let their good looks fool you — they’re tough enough to withstand whatever your lifestyle and landscape have to throw at them, even trampling from kids.
Bishop’s Weed: Even without much sun to fuel it, this shade-loving plant is an aggressive grower. You’ll have so much success growing it you’ll need to keep it contained with a solid border of some sort! Enjoy the cool green foliage of Bishop’s Weed trimmed in cream for a statement that pops from the shadows.
Ajuga: Also known as Bugleweed, this perennial is sure to bring life and style to your garden again and again. With spiky blooms of deep indigo, you’re sure to get quite the show from this plant!
Ground cover plants might not get the same popular attention that the stars of your garden get, but they’re an important background to make the show in your garden complete. Without ground cover to balance out the look, your statement pieces would fall pretty flat. Lush ground cover is a great way to add layers of life into your garden, and are a good way to take your garden style to the next level.