Archive for the ‘Ground cover’ Category

Flowering Shrubs of Summer

In several areas of the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 6-9), summer landscapes along the east and west coast and Southern U.S. are filled with these botanical beauties: Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) – so many great choices of these hydrangeas, mostly with lime white flowers starting in July into August. Most popular cultivars are ‘Limelight’, ‘Little Lime, […]

Distyliums Substitute For Cherry Laurels and Hollies

Distyliums (Distylium x), aka Isu tree, are being billed as “the best new plants you’ve never heard of”. Get accustomed to seeing these boxwood-like shrubs in local garden centers, e.g., if you live within USDA hardiness zones 6b-9. Distyliums are the result of selective breeding efforts to improve an evergreen shrub native to China at […]

Ground Cover Types Of Flowering Abelias

Flowering abelias (Abelia x grandiflora) come in all shapes and sizes (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). Over the past decade the ground cover types have become very popular. They’re also utilized as accent plants in large containers. In zones 7 -8, they are evergreen. The term “ground cover” is used here to emphasize cultivars that  grow low, mostly […]

Ice Plants (Delosperma)

Ice plants (Delosperma spp.) are perennial evergreen succulents from South Africa. Two species are most popular in U.S. gardens starting with hardy ice plant (D. cooperi) (zones 6b – 9) and yellow ice plant (D. nubigenum) (zone 4 – 10). There are also many hybrid cultivars sold at garden centers and on-line. North of zone […]

Bigroot Geranium

Bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum), aka “cranesbill”, is a clump-forming perennial ground cover from Southern Europe (USDA Zones 3–8). It is one of the easiest geraniums to grow. Plants spread by thick rhizomes to form a dense ground cover. Individual plants grow 12 to 18 inches high and 18-24 inches spread. The 1-inch wide, 5-petaled dark […]

Sweet Potato Vines

Ornamental sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) have been around since the late 1980’s, but their popularity have soared over the past decade. These sweet potatoes aren’t for the table. The colorful vines thrive in the intense heat of U.S. summers from May through September (zones 5-11). These easily grown plants work well as a low-growing bedding plant, […]

Partridgeberry – Evergreen Groundcover For Deep Shady Areas

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) is grown for its evergreen foliage, spring flowers and winter berries. This native low-growing groundcover can be found in moist woodlands and along stream banks in the Eastern and Midwest U.S. It is a good choice for planting in deep shaded garden areas (USDA hardiness zones 4–8). In the spring woodlands, small […]

Galax- Popular Mountain Plant For Your Woodland Garden

Galax (Galax urceolata) is an under planted perennial wildflower native to the southern Appalachian mountains and eastern U.S. (USDA hardiness zone 5). Galax foliage is frequently collected from the wild for use in the winter floral decorations. Unfortunately, over-harvesting on public lands has jeopardized wild populations. Galax grows 6 to 12 inches tall and is […]

Autumn Ferns Offer Lush Tropical Touch

              Ferns are fine textured lacey-leaf groundcovers. Many kinds of ferns add a tropical accent to the shade garden. Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), aka Japanese wood fern,  has evergreen or semi-evergreen arching foliage, depending how cold winter is (USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8). Its common name is misleading. Best fronds color is in spring; fronds unfurl with […]

Four Very Different Annuals You Should Try

I asked three regional horticulturists to identify an under-planted drought tolerant annual. Here are four (4) that they recommended: Drumstick flower or “Billy Buttons” (Craspedia globosa) produces a golden-yellow display of spherical flowers that often reach the size of golf balls (USDA plant hardiness zones 8-11). The silvery-gray foliage reaches about 2 feet tall and wide, […]