I am going to travel around my home and talk about the various groundcovers noting their pros and cons. In the back garden under my Regent Serviceberries I have Sweet Woodruff. It was off to a slow start the first year and was sparse for the first few years. Then, it really took off and it is beautiful, little white flowers on top of a field of green. It survives and thrives in full sun even though it will do well in dappled shade, but there is a lot of moisture where it is planted. It seems fragile, meaning if you pull on it to interplant it seems to be unraveling.
In the remainder of this back garden and in the front garden I have a pretty common groundcover with many names, periwinkle, myrtle, vinca. I have a newer variety called "Dart's Blue," which grows more from the center than previous varieties, therefore not as leggy. and more disease resistant. However, I do find that it requires some clipping in the spring just to make it neater and more dense.
On the north side of my home I have Pachysandra "Green Sheen." When I planted this six years ago, I could only find it online. It is very shiny and has a wet look, very little maintenance a trim once in awhile.
Towards the front on the north side is Euonymous Fortunei Coloratus Wintercreeper. It is a strong grower, roots in the ground and develops long vining arms that reach everywhere and also upwards if there is a structure on which to climb. It does require clipping to keep it contained and off pathways and walks. It turns a beautiful burgundy red in the fall and keeps its leaves most of the year. I am now battling a scale on this groundcover which I hope I can cure in the spring.
It is always interesting to have different groundcovers as you stroll through the garden. Also realize that some groundcovers make it difficult to insert plantings. I would say the myrtle is the most difficult to plant through although once done, the plants easily emerge.
Groundcovers save on the expense and labor of mulch, although it is comfort to the eye to have areas with both mulch and various groundcovers. Avoid groundcovers bordering a lawn which can eventually root into that lawn (Ajuga and Lirope). Aegopodium (Goutweed) is still sold in nurseries - do not buy this, it will take over your world!
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