DIY Network

How to Landscape with Groundcover

Learn how to make the most of your lawn and garden spaces with these tips for using groundcover plants in your landscaping design.

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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.

Filling Gaps

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.

Fill Gaps in Walkway with Groundcover Grasses

Courtesy of DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Groundcover Plants Ideal for Banks

Courtesy of DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Underneath Trees

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.

Many Shade Loving Groundcovers Available

Courtesy of DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Sedum Makes Stunning Roof Cover

Courtesy of DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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