Maximising enjoyment of our gardens and minimising time spent doing the more routine tasks is something every gardener strives for. So if you want to spend less time weeding and watering then make sure you include ground cover plants in your planting scheme!
Not only will you get lovely new plants to enjoy, you can also look forward to spending more time doing the things you love!
We have our favourite ground cover plant which we’ll get to later, but first let’s look at the benefits these garden greats have to offer.
- The carpet of vegetation they provide suppresses weeds, and once your plants become established, perennial weed seeds find it more difficult to penetrate their growth.
- Their cover protects the soil from erosion and helps to retain moisture, great for all gardeners but particularly useful for those gardening on steep slopes.
- Their cover acts as an insulator and therefore helps to regulate soil temperature – keeping it cooler in Summer and warmer in Winter.
- The plants become a living mulch, helping to build up organic matter in the soil as they naturally shed and replace leaves. This in turn encourages worms and other beneficial organisms which helps to constantly improve the surrounding soil.
- They provide habitat and cover for beneficial insects and other wildlife, which means that nature can help us deal with garden pests.
There are lots of ground cover plants available, but our favourite is definitely the delightful Pachysandra terminalis, or Japanese spurge, because:
- It forms rosettes of glossy, dark green leaves with attractive serrated edges.
- It grows into a dense mat, it can tolerate any position from full sun to full shade and most soils too, so it’s a great choice for that difficult spot.
- It’s a fast grower and will quickly cover bare areas of earth between deciduous shrubs and trees.
- And, if all that isn’t enough, it’s also evergreen and will provide year-round interest and colour, producing upright clusters of tiny white flowers in late Spring and early Summer.
There are, of course, other ground cover plants too – and also worth a mention are ground cover roses such as the flower carpet range. These can smother the ground in record time, they’re free-flowering and naturally disease-resistant, which does away with the need to spray fortnightly against mildew and black spot.
So now you know how beneficial these plants can be, you just need to choose which ones are right for you!
If you need help or advice choosing ground cover plants for your garden (or any other plants of course!), then why not pop in and ask our knowledgeable staff – and get ready to welcome your own garden helpers!