Home Azaleas Bulbs Bushes Evergreens Ground Iris Lilies Rhodies Shade Sun Tropicals


GroundCovers

Armeria 'Thrift, Sea Pink'

Armeria maritima

Armeria maritima is a perennial in zones 3-8. It has round clusters of small flowers held above tufted mounds of narrow, needle-shaped leaves. They grow from 6 to 12" tall. The flowers bloom from May to June and need full sun and well-drained to sandy soil. The plants will rot if planted in fertile, moist soils.  Extra water is needed during dry spells and mulch of straw or pine needles should be used in winter. They do well in hot, humid areas and are tolerant of seaside locations.  Plants are great for rock gardens, edgings, or massed together.

Alyssum 'Gold Dust'

Aurinia saxatile compactum Gold Dust

This perennial is a favorite for rock gardens.  It is sometimes referred to as Basket of Gold. Golden flowers cover the plants in early spring about the same time as candytuft. These sturdy, spreading plants thrive in poor soil, sun or part sun. Zones 4-9.

Candytuft 'Snowflake'

Iberis sempervirens Snowflake

Very showy profusion of pure white blooms top neat, low mounds in spring. Its spreading form is excellent for edging, use in borders or as rock garden accents. Plant with other perennials and annuals. Candytuft flowers best in full to partial sun. It slowly grows to less than 1 foot tall, and spreads 2 feet wide.

Cotoneaster 'Coral Beauty' (Christmas Carpet)

Cotoneaster dammeri Coral Beauty

More compact than the species, this Chinese Bearberry grows to a foot or so tall, with the possibility of its semi-prostrate branches stretching six feed wide. This evergreen is one of the best berrying groundcover shrubs with masses of cream-white flowers in early summer, followed in Autumn by masses of orange-red berries and purple winter foliage. Sun or shade, damp or dry, once established, Coral Beauty is a true ground covering weed suppressant that roots itself wherever low-growing branches touch the ground. Zone 5

 

 

Cotoneaster 'Scarlet Leader'

Cotoneaster salicifolius Scarlet Leader

Scarlet Leader is a vigorous, healthy plant that can spread 6 feet wide but is only 6 to 12 inches high. The perfect choice for large areas and steep slopes in either sun or shade, it spreads to 18 inches the first year.   From fall into winter, a profusion of red berries glows against the densely branched, glossy dark green leaves. From late May to early June, white flowers bloom. Quite hardy, it is the choice of many of today's leading landscape architects.

Creeping Wintergreen

Gualtheria Procumbens

You won't want to take your eyes off of this constantly changing Wintergreen. This small creeping evergreen offers year-round appeal. The fragrant, shiny dark green leaves turn a rich burgundy in fall, and petite, bell-shaped blossoms of white blushed with pale pink are borne in spring.  But the most amazing feature of Gaultheria procumbens is the bright scarlet fruits. These 1 1/2-inch fruits arise in midsummer and continue into the following spring, creating the most unusual sight of both flowers and fruit together! And the foliage is wonderfully aromatic when crushed -- still used in wintergreen tea, it was once also made into an oil.

Juniper 'Blue Chip'

Juniperis horizontalis 'Blue Chip'

A prostrate, coniferous evergreen ground cover featuring silvery blue new growth that matures to blue green on interior branches.  Blue coloring becomes more intense in the winter.   Excellent cascading over walls. Full sun to light shade. Slow-growing to 8 to 10 inches high, and spreads 6 to 8 feet. Zone 2

Juniper 'Blue Rug'

Juniperis horizontalis Wiltonii

A trailing juniper having a uniform, full centered growth habit with intense silver-blue foliage. Excellent evergreen for large scale ground covers or cascading over walls. Full sun. Fast-growing to 6 inches high, spreads 6 to 8 feet.

Pachysandra 'Green Sheen'

Pachysandra terminalis Green Sheen

An exciting new variation of one of the most valuable and carefree evergreen groundcovers, with foliage so unbelievably glossy that each leaf shines like a little green mirror -- while a dense stand glints and sparkles to light up any shady corner.  Each plant grows only 10 to 12 inches high, and over a 2 to 3-year period will spread to evenly carpet a 3-foot space.  Plant in light to full shade; tolerant of wide range of soils from moist to dry.  Superb in combination with ferns and hostas.

 

Variegated Monkey Grass (Lilyturf)
Lirope muscari 'Variegata'

It’s easy to sing the praises of variegated lilyturf for making the perfect edger.  Its impeccable green-striped-with-cream foliage is vibrant and grass-like, but the leaves are wider and more blunt at their tip than grasses. Ideal as an edging plant, a clump runs from 1 to 1½ feet tall and half again as wide. The crisp, virtually indestructible leaves look attractive all season and often well into the winter. Nor are the spikes of small blue-violet flowers anything to sneeze at. They appear in late September—when few flowers are in bloom—and continue through the middle of October. Another virtue of variegated lilyturf is its tolerance of shade. Indeed, it bleaches out a bit in full sun, preferring morning sun and afternoon shade, and it will put up with moderate to dense shade as well.  Fully evergreen up to Zone 6, northern gardeners will want to cut it back to the ground  in early spring before the new growth appears.

Phlox 'Scarlet Flame'

Phlox subulata Scarlet Flame

Scarlet Flame has showy scarlet red flowers. Creeping Phlox (moss phlox) forms mats which produce a profusion of blooms in April or May. The plants are suitable for rock gardens, ground covers or for walls.  The plants benefit from fertilization and usually require much water. Best growth occurs when the plant is given a sunny location and a well-drained, sandy soil. The stiff, narrow leaves give the plant its mossy appearance. The plants may be sheared in summer to improve their appearance.

Phlox 'White Delight'

Phlox subulata White Delight

White Delight has pure white flowers.  The foliage is a lighter green, and larger than other subulatas.  Creeping Phlox (moss phlox) forms mats which produce a profusion of blooms in April or May. The plants are suitable for rock gardens, ground covers or for walls.  The plants benefit from fertilization and usually require much water. Best growth occurs when the plant is given a sunny location and a well-drained, sandy soil. The stiff, narrow leaves give the plant its mossy appearance. The plants may be sheared in summer to improve their appearance.

Phlox 'Blue Hills'

Phlox subulata Blue Hills

Blue Hills has sky blue flowers. Creeping Phlox (moss phlox) forms mats which produce a profusion of blooms in April or May. The plants are suitable for rock gardens, ground covers or for walls.  The plants benefit from fertilization and usually require much water. Best growth occurs when the plant is given a sunny location and a well-drained, sandy soil. The stiff, narrow leaves give the plant its mossy appearance. The plants may be sheared in summer to improve their appearance.

 

Phlox 'Millstream Daphne'

Phlox subulata Millstream Daphne

Millstream Daphne has clear pink flowers. It is the most widely grown creeping Phlox and produces a profusion of blooms in April or May. Great in the rock garden, as a ground cover or tumbling over a wall.  The plants benefit from fertilization and usually require much water. Best growth occurs when the plant is given a sunny location and a well-drained, sandy soil. The stiff, narrow leaves give the plant its mossy appearance. The plants may be sheared in summer to improve their appearance.

Primrose 'Pacific Giants' (Mixed Colors)

Primula polyantha 'Pacific Giants'

Pacific Giants are commonly sold in grocery stores in late winter and early spring. They are an easy-to-care for, zone 3-8 perennial and come in a wide range of colors, however, most all have a yellow center or eye. They provide an abundance of flowers that emit a delicate, spicy scent which contracts nicely with the dark green, oval leaves. They can grow one foot high x one foot wide, but are more commonly seen at 6 inches in height.  If not planted deep enough they will topple over.

Sedum 'Dragon's Blood'

Sedum spurium Dragon's Blood

Sedum spurium, or two-row stonecrop is a low growing ground cover at  2 - 6".  This succulent, evergreen sedum has mat forming, wiry stems with rows of rounded leaves at the ends and pink flowers in summer. 'Dragon's Blood' has red-tinted foliage in the spring and rose-red flowers in the summer. The more sun it gets the redder the flowers and foliage.   Zones 3 - 7.

Sedum 'Fulda Glow'

Sedum spurium Fulda Glow

'Fulda Glow' has bronze-red foliage all year with rose-red flowers in summer.  It is particularly attractive in rock gardens where its blazing foliage contrasts the bland color of rocks.  Also used along borders, and as an accents plants.  It is a succulant evergreen with dark maroon foliage.  Zones 3 - 7.

Siberian Cypress

Microbiota decussata

Siberian Cypress makes a good substitute for junipers in a shade garden.  They don't thrive in really deep, dry shade, but perform acceptably in low light (and full sun). The green, juniper-like foliage gives a lacy appearance to this spreading, prostrate shrub. Typically this plant reaches about 18 inches in height, but will spread from 6 to 9 feet making it great cascading over a rock garden or a bank. It's also very hardy as it originates from high in the mountains of Russia and is sometimes called Russian arborvitae.

Soapwort

Saponaria ocymoides

Soapwort is a mounded, slightly sprawling plant with medium-to-dark green leaves. Flowers are small and five-petaled. Fall colors are red and purple. The fruit is brown and unimportant.  This mat-forming plant is native to Southern Europe.  It prefers well-drained, organically rich soil.  Reaching a height of 6" inches, with a spread of 2 feet, this perennial blooms profusely in early summer, then more sporadically until early Fall.

Thorndale Ivy

Hedera helix Thorndale

Thorndale is a super hardy English Ivy. It creates a shiny 6 to 8 inch evergreen carpet in difficult places.  Large, veined, sub-zero hardy leaves spread fast but don't become a nuisance (1st year it sleeps, 2nd year it creeps, 3rd year it leaps).   It is also splendid as a climber that needs no support.

Thyme 'Red Creeping Thyme'

Thymus serpyllum coccineus

Thymus serpyllum Coccineus presents brilliant crimson flowers carpeting this low, mat-forming plant in early summer. A spectacular sight in the front of the border or cascading over a wall!  The 1- to 4-inch plants are densely covered with tiny, dark green, shiny leaves that are intensely aromatic when crushed plant them between paving stones and enjoy their fragrance every time you pass by.  Evergreen in the South, semi-evergreen in the North. Plant 12 to 15 inches apart in full sun and well-drained soil. Zones 4-9.

Thyme 'White Creeping Thyme'

Thymus praelox Albus

Thymus praecox Albus is blanketed in white blooms for 3 weeks in early summer; this tidy 2 to 3 inch high Creeping Thyme spreads to form an 18- to 20-inch mat.  Foliage emits a lovely aroma when touched. For best results, plant in full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. Zones 4-9.

 

 

Vines (Climbers)

These

Clematis Belle of Woking

Clematis 'Belle Of Woking'

Introduced in 1875, this rare heirloom treasure has been sought by connoisseurs for years, for its beauty.  The fluffly, fully double, four-inch pompons are unlike any other large-flowered hybrid.  And the coloration is completely unforgettable; a delicate complexion of the palest, coolest pink fading to soft silvery-mauve.  Great clouds appear in early summer and seem to glow in the morning and at dusk, or under moonlight.  Flowers and unusual seed heads are superb in arrangements.

Clematis Jackmanii

Clematis Jackmanii

Jackmanii provides true spectacle from June through September, when the incredibly numerous flowers envelop the strong vines in a mantle of purple. One of the loveliest and most popular climbers, it has stood the test of time!   "Queen of the climbers" is what one British Clematis expert calls them. Huge flowers, sometimes as much as 9 inches across, are lavishly produced, often for months at a time. Foliage is clean and attractive.

Clematis Mrs. N. Thompson

Clematis 'Mrs. N. Thompson'

 One of the most dazzling Clematis ever developed, 'Mrs. N. Thompson' doesn't skimp on the blooms! The first flush occurs in late spring, while most other Clematis are still waking up. Then 'Mrs. N. Thompson' rests during the hottest months, only to rebloom heavily in early fall. A terrific double-feature performance!The blooms measure 4 to 6 inches across, with slender, pointed petals of deep violet-purple. Each petal is generously scored with a bright red stripe and accompanying veining, giving the bloom a nice combination of dark and bright shades.  Keep the roots cool with a summer mulch. 'Mrs. N. Thompson' should be cut back to 6 or 8 inches from the ground in early spring.

Clematis Star of India

Clematis 'Star Of India'

A very large flowered variety producing reddish plum blooms having petals marked with red bars.  Star of India flowers July through September once established.  It grows 12 to 20' tall and doesn't need to be trimmed back to the ground.

Clematis Sugar Candy

Clematis 'Sugar Candy' (PP 9290)

Sugar Candy the ideal choice for a repeat bloomer for the shade! Huge, candy striped flowers, 6 to 7 inches across, are a luscious clear pink with a deeper pink stripe down the middle of each petal, glowing with a central boss of luminous yellow stamens. Blooms are produced in lavish abundance during two big flushes, first in early summer and again in fall. Foliage is clean and attractive. Train them on arbors, grow against walls or fences, use for screening unsightly vistas, or to climb over stumps or poles. Grow them through taller shrubs such as Roses or Vibernums, or through Dogwood trees.  Best grown where not exposed to direct sunlight, Sugar Candy blooms in summer and fall and should be pruned yearly in March to 12 inches from the ground.

Clematis 'Sweet Autumn'

Clematis terniflora Sweet Autumn

Few Clematis bloom in fall and even fewer are fragrant! Add to this Sweet Autumn Clematis's bushy-cascading 20-foot vining habit, and you have a distinctive, bounteous treasure for the garden!  Beginning in later summer and lasting into fall, thousands of small, 1-inch white blooms appear on this vine, richly scenting the air. The star-shaped blooms are followed by silver-sheened seedheads that make lovely winter arrangements.  Sweet Autumn Clematis should be cut back the vine in early spring to about a foot from the ground.

Climbing Hydrangea

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

Climbing Hydrangea boasts an exceptional shrub-like habit. "There is no better climbing vine," says Donald Wyman, respected American authority on woody plants. Truly spectacular when in flower in midsummer, it climbs without support on walls, arbors, or trees, reaching 60 to 80 feet. Its white flowers, rich green foliage, striking exfoliating bark, and shrub-like growth create all-season interest.  Also effective used as a ground cover. Somewhat slow to establish, but once settled it makes excellent growth each year.