marineman
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Dayton, Oh

ground cover in difficult area

Hi all,

I am a new homeowner, single male, large, hilly yard with a small creek running through the backyard. I was hoping to get some advice from you garden geniuses as I'd like to add a touch (not full out because I can't afford such a thing) of Japanese or Mediterranean garden appeal to the yard, and I have a bad case of "bachelorism" when it comes to gardening. My first project this spring will be outlining my creek banks. It is relatively steep going to the band, then sharply drops about 2' in most areas to the bed of the creek, which usually has a few inches of water, but in heavy rain raises up to 5-6' of water. It is a mowing nightmare, so I want to eliminate the need and also beautify the area in a natural way. Does anyone have advice for a nice ground cover that will withstand full sun, the potential for occasional high, fast moving water?

I'm currently toying with:
Crownvetch Penngift
Mother of Thyme
Prunella Freelander
Chamomile
Sagina

I should aslo add that the area seems to be very weed and grass-prone sue to the constant moisture, and sun, so I'd like something that will choke out other plants as well.

Thanks in advance!!

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

IMHO, best choice in a situation like you describe would be a selection of native plants, that would be able to survive the conditions given without taking over the area (i.e. needing extra maintenance), as well as add to natural conservation of wildlife. That said, I'm not familiar enough to recommend anything, but folks in the Native Plant forum might. Good luck. :wink:

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Marineman, welcome to The Helpful Gardener.

Do I read you rightly, that you served in the USMC? If so, thank you so much for your service.

I'm not very knowledgeable on ground covers (having no ground to cover...) but recently referred another Ohio gardener to Native Plant societies as well! (I don't know, applestar...we gotta quit meeting like this... :wink: )

Surely there's some prairie short grass that would do beautifully in your area? (I know that Illinois is thought of as the great prairie, but open spaces in the Old Northwest might all be hospitable to such species.)

Let me see if I can find that thread. I gave her some very specific advice--on a day when my brain was much more in gear than it is today--so...

back soon.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Oh, yes: I removed your identical duplicate post from the other location so that all responses will be together here, in the Landscaping Forum, where ground-cover people are more likely to look.

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Here was the other post:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=57945

I hope you find a suitable plant or combination of plants soon; planting time will be here soon (well, maybe not soon enough for people dealing with ice storms, power outages, broken trees...)

Cynthia

marineman
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Dayton, Oh

Thanks for the advice, but does anyone know anything about how the ground covers I mentioned will hold up to the current then may get from the creek? It looks like Mother of Thyme is the way to go if it can handle the water issues.

bullthistle
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

Personally I would stay away from crown vetch cause their roots go to China, especially if they spread into areas you don't want them to. Some of the basics might work, periwinkle, pachistima, Japanese spurge or even try a woody shrub, Potentilla Kay Dykes, it came from bogs and has yellow blooms all summer and it reaches a height of 24".

marineman
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Dayton, Oh

I will definitely be planting some bushes, grasses, etc to compliment the groundcover, but my main concern in to leave the natural look of the creek undisturbed while replacing grass with something that won't need mowed due to the difficult terrain.

MagnoliaMan
Cool Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:15 pm

Might be creating a monster...

I am somewhat hesitant recommending this tough and sometimes invasive plant, but do a little research on Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'. It is tenacious, with attractive foliage and loves water, but will live with drier conditions. Has its best color in full sun.

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