People who love tending to their gardens can attest to the annoying presence of weed, a particularly hardy and hard-to-kill plant that lives rent-free in their plots of greenery.
Not only are they unsightly, leave them unattended for a while, and they grow swiftly to overwhelm the desired plants in the ground. Hence, garden maintenance often involves a great deal of weeding.
But why go through the back-breaking trouble to weed out your garden, when you can have the groundcovers to do it for you?
A hands-free solution
Groundcover functions by replacing the weed that usually fills the empty spots on your garden. Unlike weed which can grow up tall and messy, groundcovers are usually low-lying and neat in their growth. They produce beautiful scented flowers and some even yield fruits to reward your efforts. Let’s observe a few of these groundcover species:
Where aesthetics are concerned, few groundcovers beat the periwinkle. Gardens infested with periwinkles appear as sapphires interspersed within a sea of green. Their striking indigo flowers make for a pleasant and vivid imagery, not considering the lovely scent that complements their refreshing presence.
However, periwinkle is a competitive plant and is very much capable of spreading unchecked. Hence, planting periwinkles nearby to your other specimens is not a good idea as it may invade and choke them out.
On a different note, periwinkles aren’t fussy plants as they grow well in the sun or shade. Once properly established, they have no trouble stamping out the future growth of weed.
Another flowering alternative is the Roman Chamomile, which exhibits daisy-like flowers and feathery leaves. Besides the visual appeal, Chamomiles can be processed into essential oil for medicinal purposes. Similar to the periwinkle, it is a tough species, with a fortitude to withstand drought. The Roman Chamomile is best planted in dry soil and part shade.
This evergreen plant sports petite leaves that sprout in tight but tidy patterns. Even so, the creeping thyme develops a dry woody centre as the growth matures and pushes out, giving it a somewhat dishevelled appearance. They make up for that by standing up well to foot traffic. Do note that this plant requires a lot of light, and they will die in droves if shaded.
Lily of the Valley
Where groundcovers are concerned, people may assume them to be low-lying shrubs or grass-like plants. That is not the case, as a suitable ground cover functions to choke out weed while being aesthetically pleasing. The lily of the valley does just that, and as an added benefit, you can harvest them for your flower jug.
This plant stands a few feet tall at maturity, and it sports fragrant bell-shaped flowers. Unlike the creeping thyme, they do not hold up against foot traffic and are best kept on the side. It prefers partial shade and moist soil but can be adapted to full sun or shade, depending on the amount of moisture received.
These are but a few of the groundcover species you can utilise to populate the empty spots in your garden.