How to Landscape with Groundcover
Groundcover plants are useful for filling awkward spaces that might otherwise be left as bare soil or covered over with hard landscaping. Choose groundcover for its foliage, flowers, or scent to make the most of every available surface. You must also be careful to select plants that will thrive in your conditions — for example, some plants, such as Genista or Nepeta, will thrive in hot, dry sites, whereas hellebores, hostas, and Sarcococca prefer damp shade.
Many groundcover plants can be used to add interest and color to the spaces between patio slabs or steps where weeds may otherwise grow. Many of these plants are tough enough to withstand some light footfall, such as chamomile and thyme.
On a Bank
There can be many spaces in a garden where mowing is difficult or even impossible due to the angle of the terrain, such as a bank or steep slope. Groundcover plants are ideal for use in these spaces where good coverage but minimal maintenance is needed.
Many lawn grasses will struggle to grow successfully in the shady areas created by the foliage of trees. However, there are many attractive, shade-loving, groundcover plants such as ferns and ivies that will thrive in these locations.
On a Roof
Despite being classed as "groundcover," many plants can also be used to grow in other locations, such as the sedums on this stunning roof. They will grow successfully in less than favorable, dry, and exposed conditions where many other plants would fail.
Text copyright 2012 Royal Horticultural Society