LoneOrchid
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Location: Toledo, Oh

Ground Covers for Clay?

Two years ago I planted a gorgeous Lavender Twist Redbud as a memorial for my deceased dog. Now I'd like to add some ground covers to that, but I'm such an amateur that I can't figure out what would work.

My yard is pretty much just clay. For the small, ornamental Redbud I had dug quite a hole and filled it with top soil, so it's doing great. But now that the tree is in place and I don't want to disturb it (very touchy in that sense), I'm looking for low lying flowers or a lush green ground cover that can tolerate poor drainage.

What would be some options in zone 5 for either greenery (very green), or something with some white flowers that doesn't grow more than a foot?

The tree has green heart shaped leaves most of the season, and small purple vining flowers in mid-late spring. There is an additional garden behind this with an array of colors, but this "tree garden" is only 3x3 feet, so it must be kept very simple.

bullthistle
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Sorry for your lose. Pets give a lot of love at times but then they can be a PITA too. Although Liriope spicata and Vinca minor both have a tendency to spread beyond borders, and both have blue flowers, whatever you chose make certain you mix either compost or manure into the clay when you plant along with a handful of bone meal that will promote root growth.

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mtmickey
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Location: Ronan, MT

I have clay, as well, and have found yellow stonecrop and dragon's blood do really well for ground covers. The Yellow stonecrop is a very lush green most of the time (until it freezes, and sometimes even through that). It does flower a little yellow, but the flowers don't last long. It spreads very quickly.
Not the greatest picture, but all along the front here is yellow stonecrop
Image

Here is some just getting ready to flower
Image

Both of these pictures are from 2 years ago, which the plants had 2 years in the ground. I only put a couple small plants I got from the greenhouse. Now, I am always pulling up chunks and moving them around the property...most of my flower beds have yellow stonecrop around the edges now and looks really cool....sorry, haven't moved any recent pics online yet.

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rainbowgardener
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wild ginger makes a very nice low ground cover, like a carpet of green heart shaped leaves. It is very easy care, spreads pretty quickly but not aggressively. It has little brown bell shaped flowers, but they are under the leaves and so you don't see them unless you go looking.

Virginia creeper is a vine, but also works well as a ground cover, just let it spread across the ground. Both are hardy natives that do fine in my clay soil.
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LoneOrchid
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:42 pm
Location: Toledo, Oh

This is an odd question, but could bone meal be substituted by cremains? I had buried half my dog's cremains with the tree, keeping the remaining in her urn, but now I'd rather have them all together and planned on burying the rest with the new plants.

I love all the suggestions, am leaning more towards the wild ginger for around the tree, but I'd like to include the others in the two larger gardens. So pretty!

bullthistle
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Yes that is what bone meal is.

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