Monday, August 23, 2010

Trade Your Lawn For A Ground Cover

(NAPSI)-If you're considering what to do about a hard-to-mow patch of your garden, ground cover may have it covered. Most ground covers require less work and fewer chemicals than a lawn--and they never need mowing.

Ground covers do exactly what their name implies: cover the ground with dense plant growth, choking out weeds and lending color and texture to a space. Even hostas and daylilies can be considered ground covers.

Regular turfgrass does a good job if you have a very large, sunny yard. But if you have a smaller area, a spot with shady pockets where turfgrass struggles, a difficult slope where mowing is difficult or another unusual situation, a ground cover can work wonders.

Many ground covers don't like to be walked on, but a few, such as creeping thyme or brass buttons (Leptinella squalida "Platt's Black"), tolerate some foot traffic and look great when planted between pavers and flagstones. Pink Chintz even sports tiny pink flowers in early spring.

If you want color in a partially sunny to sunny area, try the three-part Forever & Ever® GroundCover Sedum Carpet Collection. Golden foliage and flowers from Angelina, bronzy-red leaves and red flowers from Red Carpet and rich green foliage and yellow flowers from Kamschaticum sedum will light up the space.

Many sedums, including John Creech, Sedum divergens, Blue Spruce and Ogon, serve as reliable and beautiful ground covers whose stems can be left for months to provide winter interest. Just clip or break off the old dry stems in early spring before new growth starts.

Ornamental grasses, which come in various heights and shapes, work well in sunny spaces.

In partial to full sun, try a silver-veined winter creeper called Wolong Ghost, a type of spreading euonymus that just needs regular water to stay looking fresh.

Vinca minor, a stalwart ground cover for shade, gets a makeover with "Merlot." Instead of the traditional blue flowers, you'll get burgundy flowers in spring. Or seek out "Double Bowles" vinca minor, with a ruffle of extra petals in a lighter shade of violet.

All these tough ground covers are available at home and garden centers.

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