Phlox - subulata as ground cover ?

a1154a1154 Posts: 749

Im going to need a lot more ground cover (sigh).  Its a slope, full sun. Is the perennial phlox a candidate? Or is it too slow?  It says 'nearly' evergreen on some sites, which sounds good, but im in S. Scotland, so not sure. 

I'm not fond of pastels, but there seems to be brighter pinks, purples, and i like white. 



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,199

    The Phlox subulata in our garden covers a mile a minute as our soil is well drained, but rich. Oakington Blue eyes is very robust, as is one of the red ones. Admittedly some of the others are slower growing hummocks.

    They have survived all the weather can throw at them here and while in Winter they tend to look a bit bedraggled, they soon green up in Spring.

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    That sounds good Berghill, definitely after a mile a minute variety.  It is a south facing slope.

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    for this area got about 8 trees and about 15 shrubs, ground cover to try and fill in between them.  Soil is....well....nothing like Monty has, but most things do OK. 

    Got cotoneaster, junipers and heathers in other areas. Snow in summer and candytuft both good ideas, thanks. 

    Also tried hypericum, vinca, nepeta, ivy, and several things that had the word carpet in the name.  They all doing OK.  Oh and geraniums, lots. 

  • You could also try Lithodora, a lovely blue, very low spreading shrublet (there is also a white version, but mine so far seems rather slower growing than the blue) and spreading dianthus. I have 'Flashing Lights' which has made a large mat and also seeds itself generously, which may be a 'good thing' in the early years to accelerate the spread, but less so later. There are relatives in less aggressive colours but I like its panache!  There is also Persicaria affinis, which maks an evergreen mat with flowers that begin very pale pink, mature to red and turn rusty in autumn. All these grow on a south facing slope at about 1200ft in the Pennines and can cope with cold and wet.

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    Hi Buttercup, i like all those but particularly the flashing lights, gorgeous! Thank you. 

  • I know periwinkle (vinca) can be invasive, but I have several different types (no idea of names) but there is a lovely double one as well as "major" with big flowers and "minor" with smaller ones - lavenders, and puce purple, and white.  They are great for covering a bank quickly and are evergreen and seem to flower all year round.  There is also one with variegated leaves.  I find them easy to remove when they exceed the limits I have in mind for them.  You should be able to find somebody local to start you off with a few making them cheap (well free!) as well.

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    Hi Granny, got vinca, major (variegated) and minor, thank you.  Didnt want too much of the same thing.  The nepeta has probably covered the most ground so far, if it was a competition, but i didnt want it everywhere. 

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Try Cistus Alan Fradd. Grows to about 2ft x2ft, evergreen and a profusion of white flowers with yellow centres. I have almost the exact same situation in my garden and planted close they'll give good cover, plus they're easy to propagate. They last about 3- 5 years and they do well on mediocre soil.

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    Ooo thats really petty isnt it? thanks Dave.

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