Using Groundcovers in Landscaping Design


In addition to inhibiting weed growth, stabilizing soil and retaining moisture in the soil during the hot summer months, groundcovers provide you with a low maintenance, hardy solution to a variety of landscaping needs whether your area is sunny or shady...

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Use Goundcovers to Enhance Your Garden Landscaping Design

Arctotis auriculata

Arctotis auriculata

Groundcovers are plants that grow horizontally and as most of them are evergreen, will provide an attractive, hardy and permanent covering for the soil. Some groundcovers grow flat and very low to the ground while others grow up to 30cm in height.

As our modern lifestyles make increasing demands on our spare time, low maintenance garden landscaping is becoming increasingly popular.  Groundcovers offer an excellent, versatile and low maintenance solution for a wide variety of landscaping applications.

Being virtually maintenance free, the only attention your groundcovers will require is occasional trimming, feeding and watering.
It is possible to find groundcovers to suit any condition or situation in the garden landscape as these hardy plants are available in varieties suitable for sun, shade, wet or very dry conditions as well as varieties with interesting foliage or colourful flowers.

Choosing the correct groundcovers will depend on what you wish to achieve as well as the climate in your area. For the best and quickest results always plant en masse.

 

Some of the many landscaping uses of groundcovers include:

  • As a low maintenance lawn substitute in townhouse gardens
  • In areas where it is difficult to grow lawn such as underneath trees or in very shady areas
  • To prevent excessive weed growth in garden beds
  • To act as a 'green mulch' by maintaining the moisture in the soil underneath
  • To fill up bare patches in garden beds and underneath shrubs, especially deciduous shrubs
  • To soften 'hard landscaping' areas such as terrace walls, walkways, steps, driveways and paved areas
  • To create a quick 'established' effect in a newly planted garden

Lampranthus hoerleinianus
Lampranthus hoerleinianus

A few examples of groundcovers for a variety of landscaping applications include:  

Hot, dry areas

Arctotis auriculata:

A dense, hardy groundcover with attractive grey foliage and large daisy flowers in pale yellow, bright yellow, dusty pink and rust.

Gazania rigens:

A trailing gazania with bright green leaves and golden yellow daisy flowers.

Osteospermum:

An excellent hardy groundcover for dry, difficult areas. The foliage is bright green and the daisy flowers are white, dusty pink or deep mauve.

Lampranthus:

These perennial, spreading succulents known as vygies are available in the most. Beautiful  colours from white and pale pink, to mauve, bright yellow, deep orange, magenta and red.

Damp shady areas

Vinca major
Vinca major

Helxine soleirolii:

Commonly known as 'Peace in the home', the delicate appearance belies the toughness of this evergreen groundcover. Perfect for those damp, shady areas where nothing else will grow.

Vinca minor:

This superb groundcover has lovely periwinkle blue flowers throughout the year.

Ophiopogon:

A tidy, clump forming, grass like groundcover that needs very little attention and is available with dark green or deep purple, almost black, leaves.

Lamium maculatum:

The attractive pale leaves of the lamium will light up those dark, shady corners of the garden.


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