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Perfect Ground Cover

I am looking for a late flowering ground cover for the front of deep borders. Something that doesn't have rhizome's that will spread politely and not be a thug and replace bark mulching and is loved by wildlife.... is there such a perfect plant??? 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,178
    What sort of position is it @StillLearning ? Sunny, shady ? Also what type of soil. This will help to give a few ideas  :)
  • :) Mainly sunny and a clay soil
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,442
    For front of border ground cover, at this time of year, I like these two, which reminds me that I am without one of them..

    Persicaria affinis 'Superba' [aka 'Dimity'] or any of the similar cultivars out there..
    It does spread with trailing stems, but they are so easy to pull up a child could deal with it... it's not considered invasive...  link below showing photo from Ballyrobert Gardens..

    Pennisetum alopecuroides varieties, in particular 'Hameln', and 'Cassians Choice'.. I have Cassians, it starts flowering in mid August, seed heads are useful for birds and you might get grasshoppers too.. I do...  plus autumn colouration in the foliage..buff colours..

    happy choosing...
    East Anglia, England
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,178
    Off the top of my head, sedums, origanum Herrenhausen, some types of persicaria perhaps. I'm sure others will have ideas !
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    Astilbes are good plants for covering ground. The leaves are nice even when not in flower. There are many types, and quite a few flower from mid summer into late summer. 

    For low growing mat of decorative foliage, Persicaria Capitata will do well in dry and damp soils and often flowering into autumn time. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The only problem I have with persicarias is that when the leaves die down it is well nigh impossible to remove them so you then have an expanse of rusty brown in the border. And they are with me, quite late to get going again in the spring to cover said leaves. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • That's interesting. I was just pondering writing a post about the habit of 'Bob's Blunder', a ground-covering geranium. It throws out large amounts of late-flowering trailing stems, but these do not root. I find it quite extraordinary. It will romp a bit through other plants if given the chance, but it is very amenable and charming. It can be cut back easily. The reason I wanted to write a post about it is that I have no other plants with that habit, and it is at the same time perhaps a freak of nature (as so many varieties are), as well as a vigorous and sturdy plant that does not overwhelm. It flowers profusely and attracts insects.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,468
    edited October 2018
    I use Sedum confusum at the front of borders and all over the garden.
    It has flowers earlier in the year but has lovely bright green foliage all year.
    It grows quickly but is not invasive,extremely hardy,drought resistant,seems to grow under shrubs where nothing else will. Lovely in pots as well.You can lightly prune or use shears.I can't praise it highly enough and wouldn't be without it in my garden!!
    In fact I have just sent a whole boxful to my sister who wanted it to edge some huge beds she is doing in a garden for someone!

    A bit more about it here:-
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,010
    Have you considered a mass-planting of Ophiopogon and Liriope ?
    They will both thrive in full-sun if ample moisture is available throughout the summer, even though dappled shade is often preferable .
    I grow both in a sunny border in a well-draining but moist (not waterlogged) loam .
  • Wow Thanks to you all for some great ideas and love the Sedum confusum
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