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And maybe if you have a red clay bank that’s eroding away, a ground cover is a good idea. But that’s a big MAYBE.
Because in all the years I’ve gardened here in Wake County (NC) not one ground cover has ever worked out for me. Not one.
In fact, all my ground cover experiments have turned on me like ungrateful children– racing for the sun, smothering perennial beds, leaping fences into my neighbor’s woods and flinging themselves about the lawn.
Don’t plant it. I wish someone had told me that a long time ago, and I wish had been smart enough to listen.
Fortunately, winter is a great time to fix those trial and error garden lessons.
Case in point: The Creeping Jenny I just eradicated from a bed of rain lilies and irises. I did this by digging up the whole bed, sorting the good plants from the bad and carrying the ground cover to the street.
Do not compost ground covers. They are the living dead of the plant world and will claw their way back into your garden.
Yes, it can grueling to correct your mistakes, but that’s the way most of us learn to garden.
Anyone else with garden regrets to share (and make me feel better about mine)?
I love my woods garden. In spring and fall it is something to see (brag…brag). But this time of year there’s almost no color under my trees. I’m always looking for ways to get blooms into the shade.
The tall spikes are sword plants–a tropical you can find in any windowless office growing under lights. I think I paid 10 dollars for a big pot at the Home Depot one year. In winter, I dig them up and bring them inside. Is that super-thrifty or what?
The blooms are pink impatients–the best shade annual in the south. I always buy a flat and stick them in shady pots around my bird bath. They bloom non-stop til frost.
The trailing plant is Creeping Jenny. It’s a perennial ground cover. Keep it out of the ground unless you want to spend a lot time digger it up. Still, it is lovely and delicate in pots.
If you don’t have any big pots, look for them on sale now. They are great way to garden in places where you could never dig a whole (like under trees). And a great way to add color and interest to your southern garden.
Ps. Make sure your pots have ample drainage holes. Pots with no drainage result in disasters. There should be a law.