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low growing plants for drive

I am in the process of designing my South facing front drive after builders have left. Size is about 2 M front to back and 4.5 M side to side. It was all gravel before, but there were difficulties of deep ruts in the usual turning space. I am considering a combination of slabs and gravel contained with low density hexagonal 'mesh', but then also wondered whether it may be possible to grow a low growing, non-invasive plant that will tolerate a car being driven over occasionally?

My thoughts went to the moss that covers the sculpture lady lying on her side at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. Does anyone know the name of it please? I am also considering using something like this to clothe a communal seating are to the back of the house, though not sure how practical this might be! There was an episode of Gardeners World - I think it was Joe Swift commentating at the time - which showed something like this. I can't find the episode! Can anyone remember the name of the plant? It would need to be very low maintenance for me to be able to consider using it!

Any suggestions welcomed please!



  • If what you're thinking of is Soleirolia soleirolii (Helxine soleirolii) or 'Mind Your Own Business' be warned, it can be very invasive!! We are plagued with it in our garden in Cornwall.

  • Pearlwort, Sagina subulata, also called Irish moss, would do what you want and be more resistant to wear than Mind your own Business, Soliroellia, and will also grow better in less than perfect conditions.

    It is low maintenance in that it is very easy to grow. However it can be a troublesome weed in the wrong place, but is probably somewhat slower growing than MYOB, which can also be very invasive, though Pearlwort  does seed around too.

     How often is 'occasionally'? Creeping thymes might also do the trick, or the non-flowering chamomile 'Treneague'. These tolerate low level foot-fall and would also smell lovely as you got out of the car. They would not like being shaded by a parked car for any length of time though.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,149

    For south facing, I would go with creeping thymes.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Buzzy2Buzzy2 Posts: 135

    Please do not buy Helexine, I have been trying to get rid of it in my garden for 50 years!

    Last edited: 12 November 2016 14:43:39

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