DonnaJ
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:41 am
Location: Catonsville, MD

Ground cover for hill - zone 7 -

The front hill I want to cover faces south and receives less than full sun (two new trees in the area) but more sun than partial shade. I currently have bugleweed on the hill and thought it would stay green in the winter but it doesn't. It dries and looks horrible even if I water with the soaker hose on the warmer winter days. In the winter it receives full sun.

I'm considering planting wintergreen and would like to hear from anyone who has this plant. Does it truly stay green in the winter and does it require much shaping to keep it tidy?

Thanks for your replies and for the friendly member who suggested I repost in this section. :D

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

wintergreen

I would love to have wintergreen and have tried 3 X's to get it started and it has just kept dying. I'm not entirely sure what the problem is, except that I know it likes acid soil and mine is the opposite. Even though I try to amend it, the wintergreen doesn't like it. My impression is even if you get wintergreen established, it's quite slow growing at least the first few years. It would be gorgeous if you got a bunch of it going, but you might want to try something easier and quicker -- wild ginger is one I've suggested to people or foamflower (tiarella). But if there's anyone out there who's had more success with wintergreen than I have and can tell a different story, I'd love to hear from them! :)

DonnaJ
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:41 am
Location: Catonsville, MD

Wintergreen

Thanks for the insight. I do know if I try it I will clear a spot on the hill and plant one or two plants, see how they do, and then decide. I went to all the work to cover the hill with bugleweed and it dies in the winter.

My mother also suggested Thyme groundcover - there are several varieties so I may may this year a test year and decide what I like best.

The other thought I had about wintergreen is the height may be more than I want and then if I trim it I'll end up with sticks.

Thanks again for the reply - I'm new to the forum and just realizing how very interesting this can be.

bullthistle
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A reason why ajuga looks bad in the winter could be wind burn. Why not try juniper which may get some burn but will take the sun better year round. Costs more but you will be digging less holes. Others include cotoneaster or euonymous. Since it is sloping best not to put down a weed barrier since a mulch will flow to the bottom after heavy rains.

DonnaJ
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:41 am
Location: Catonsville, MD

bullthistle wrote:A reason why ajuga looks bad in the winter could be wind burn. Why not try juniper which may get some burn but will take the sun better year round. Costs more but you will be digging less holes. Others include cotoneaster or euonymous. Since it is sloping best not to put down a weed barrier since a mulch will flow to the bottom after heavy rains.
We do get a lot of wind here, more in the back yard (north facing) but still a lot in the front and the wind would explain why the ajuga dries even though I water it. I will look at the euonymous - I have some on the side of the house (the side I rarely see) and I'm pretty sure it winters just fine.

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

Rainbow's experience with wintergreen is typical; like many woodlanders it has very specific needs in soil biology and if the soils is not suitable it just curls up and goes... :cry: If ajuga is frying wintergreen is almost sure to...

Good old Vinca minor is evergreen and prolific and cheap. More sun than shade makes gingers a poor choice, but it's likely not enough sun for junipers or thyme... Bearberry or Arctostaphylos uva-ursii might well work; I have seen it in dappled shade on the Cape, and it is a lovely groundcover, one of my favorites...

Buying a pot of this and that and experimenting for a year is a great way to test things and more than once I have been suprised by how something takes to a specific area...

HG
Scott Reil

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