Ground cover is an essential part of a garden. Not only does it help to hold onto the topsoil but also provides aesthetic beauty to your landscape. One does not necessarily have to stick to grass lawns for ground cover. There are dozens of other options that work as ground cover and add a lot of beauty to your garden.
Sweet woodruff works beautifully as a fragrant ground cover. It is just right for backyards where it can grow in clumps and will not invade your flower beds.Crushed leaves of this fragrant plant smell like fresh hay. The plants grow to a height of 12 inches, needs little sun and a well drained soil.
It’s lovely to inhale the fresh fragrance of thyme underfoot. It is easy to grow with fragrant foliage and lovely white or pink flowers during the warmer months. It loves the sun but needs a well drained soil and can grow as high as 10”.
Beautiful undergrowth available in myriad colors – the ajuga is simply wonderful. There are many varieties available, with foliage colors as varied as chocolate purple to reddish bronze. The flowers too bloom in colors like white, pink or blue. The plant may grow to 6” and needs moist yet well drained soil.
Bishop weed grows beautifully in shade and you can also choose one that has white and cream splashes on its green leaves. It can grow as high as 12”.
Brass buttons get their name from their tiny black tinged foliage and button like bronze colored flowers. It tolerates traffic so one can walk on it too. It loves the sun and a well drained soil and will grow to about 6”.
Golden moneywort is the perfect choice if you need undergrowth in shade over large areas. This fast growing plant has golden foliage and grows as high as 3” only. It is also known as creeping jenny.
Lily of the valley is not just beautiful but fragrant too. It is a lovely choice for undergrowth in shades or under large trees. It needs well drained soil and also a watcher’s eyes on its whereabouts for it can be invasive.
Another fast growing but non invasive undergrowth is the wild ginger with its heart shaped glossy leaves. It likes the shade and a drained soil and will grow to a height of 4”.
Pachysandra is the undergrowth of choice if the area has dense shade. It has a dark jade colored foliage and sports clusters of white flowers. It needs no care once it has taken root. You can plant it and forget it, and yet it will thrive beautifully.
Two undergrowth plants that look lovely when grown together are the hens and chicks and the sedum. They both love the sun and a drained soil. With hardly any maintenance required you can relax once you are done planting. Sedum flaunts golden blooms in the hot months and hens and chicks thrive beautifully in crevices, rock gardens and stone walls.
Some other plants that work well as undergrowth are lamium, bunchberry, epimedium, lady’s mantle, vinca, showy evening primrose, soapwort, barren strawberry, armeria, Japanese forestgrass, bloody cranesbill, lamb’s ears and others.