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Ground Cover Recommendations?

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Blog entry by Mark posted 05-06-2012 08:04 PM 2442 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi All -

I just re-mulched all the beds on my property, and it’s frankly reached the point where I can’t do it myself anymore. The maintenance and ongoing costs are just prohibitive. I love for things to look “just so” as many of us writing here do, of course – but it’s just too much work and money to do this every couple of years.

And so – I’m starting to think about using some type of ground cover in certain beds.

The problem is some beds are in full sun and others in pretty significant shade. (I’d really like to have one ground cover – nice and uniform.) Furthermore, I have several different shrubs and trees which I surely don’t want overgrown – so I need something low to the ground and not terribly aggressive. I really love the look of Ivy, but I’m pretty sure that would fall into the category of “too aggressive.” (Though maybe I’m speaking too soon – I have no idea of the many varieties.) And, of course, I need something I know will thrive in my area – the Jersey Shore.

Does anyone here have any insights??

There are many shots of these of my beds on my site at the link that follows – I sent out a general “call for help” on my site yesterday as well: http://www.all-about-the-house.com/mulch-to-landscape-ground-cover/

I write a lot more there and have lots of pictures as well.

Any thoughts or insights would be most appreciated. Thanks, all!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com



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Mark

28 posts in 2238 days
hardiness zone 7a

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8 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3638 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-07-2012 01:43 AM

I’m not a perfectionist or a “manicured” garden person. “but” .. I love the periwinkle. Perhaps with the base of mulch it would fill in beautifully. Where I have it growing, now, I get lots of grass coming up through it, however a friend of mine has her entire front yard in periwinkle and it is WONDERFUL.
I have a an area (small area) covered in thyme.
If it was my space I’d probably seed it with white clover as that would fill in quickly – and be beneficial to the plants/trees.
I’ll let the real experts provide other options.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Mark

28 posts in 2238 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 05-07-2012 02:31 PM

Thanks, Debbie -

I’ll definitely check out the white clover – had no idea about that. And it’s nice to hear a second vote of confidence on the Perwinkle. Appreciate your suggestions!!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3638 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-07-2012 03:35 PM

periwinkle is so beautiful.. :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2900 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-07-2012 06:35 PM

Mark, have you thought about planting alyssum around your trees and shrubs? I am not certain how it will do if the areas are very shady, but in my experience, alyssum spreads and can grow so densely that it holds its own against incursions of grass and weeds in sunny and mostly sunny areas. There are so many different types of alyssum, you can chose a variety that pleases you. The contrast of the carpet of flowers against green shrubs is quite lovely, in my opinion.

We had periwinkle growing along our house when I was a child and I loved the purple/blue flowers against the dark green leaves. Unfortunately, it tended to be over-run by weeds so we would have to rip it out and start over on a regular basis. If you can figure out how to keep the weeds from taking over the periwinkle, it too would make a lovely ground cover.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Mark's profile

Mark

28 posts in 2238 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 05-08-2012 06:43 AM

I hadn’t even heard of Alyssum, RFG, until I glanced at your note late last night – and wow, there are a lot of varieties there! Will definitely check into this much further. Only thing that struck me while I was looking over is I think (?) some of the varities might have been “annuals?” I could easily have mis-read this – but this sounds like a great suggestion, and I’m definitely going to research it more. Thank you!!

And one of the best things I noticed in my ~5 minutes of googling last night at midnight—people seem to be selling seeds all over. I really want to buy seeds if I can. I had priced out some Perwinkle plants with a local nursery in the Fall, and I needed something like 700 seedlings. The price was crazy high, as you can imagine.

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

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Mark

28 posts in 2238 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 05-13-2012 06:30 PM

Debbie & RFG -

I just gave you both a shout-out on my website as well (and a link right to this page) – thanks again for your insights above!!

-- Mark, Jersey Shore, http://www.all-about-the-house.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3638 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-14-2012 01:20 AM

cool :D

Good luck with your project and be sure to let us know how it goes.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2900 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-15-2012 04:26 PM

You are very welcome, Mark. Please let me know what you chose. I like the idea of planting something that will pretty much take care of itself because it is happy to be growing in the location. The alyssum I have growing in my living fence garden is definitely a perennial and it has spread to cover all the available space around it. White clover might also be a good choice, just make sure that your soil is not too acidic as it prefers a more alkaline soil. I have so I have to add lime to bring up the pH.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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