harryhh
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:38 pm
Location: Northcentral Illinois, Zone 5a

Looking for low ground cover.

North central Illinois, Zone 5a

Hello folks,

I live in an apartment building and have made a small flowerbed out by the mail boxes. It's shaped like I cut off the top quarter of a circle. About 15 feet wide and 3.5 feet at the top of the circle. It's made from 6 inch deep black plastic edging. It's in full sun. The soil is a decent dark soil, but seems a little hard to me. Maybe a little clay or gumbo mixed in. Soil seems to stay slightly moist in this area.

I've planted mainly lily bulbs and am looking for some kind of low ground cover.

The top edge of the edging is out of the ground not even half an inch. The bottom is of course close to 6 inches deep. I'm not too particular about the ground cover. I want it to prevent weeds and stay low in case residents want to plant small flowers

I was thinking of planting Hens and Chicks and some Sedum Acre and some Sedum Dragon's Blood in patches. Any other suggestions for nice low ground cover in full sun that won't get out of control?

I do worry about any of the ground cover getting out of the edging and not being controlled by the mower. Are these ground covers fairly easy to control?

Thanks,
Harry

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Looking for low ground cover.

Ajuga is one of those low ground covers, very hardy and spreads well. It usually prefers part shade to shady, but there are lots of different varieties of them, some more sun tolerant than others.

Other choices include heartleaf bergenia, an evergreen ground cover. It spreads just by getting wider and wider (not by runners, like the ajuga), so it is a slower spreader. But this makes it less likely to spread outside your flower bed.

Plumbago is a nice, quick growing ground cover that gets beautiful fall-colored foliage. As a quick grower, it is more likely to escape, but I think all of these can be controlled by mowing. True geranium aka hardy geranium (not the pelargoniums that are sold as geranium) and lamium (dead nettle) are other nice choices for low growing cold hardy ground covers.
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Lindsaylew82
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Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Looking for low ground cover.

Creeping thyme makes a beautiful and fragrant ground cover. So does lemon thyme.

Candy tuft, phlox, asters are pretty, too!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

harryhh
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:38 pm
Location: Northcentral Illinois, Zone 5a

Re: Looking for low ground cover.

Thank you rainbowgardener and Lindsaylew82,

I will look into all of those to learn about them and see what I think.

Harry

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