Ground covers hold a special place in many landscape designs. These low-growing plants serve to enhance hillsides and borders, as well as protect against soil erosion in many areas. Ground covers also help insulate the soil and provide areas for playing and relaxing. While some ground covers grow slowly, others quickly cover the soil. Some ground covers prefer shady conditions, while others require bright sunlight.
Also known as carpet bugle, bugle weed grows rapidly. Their upright stalks produce flowers in shades of blue, white and purple. Blossoms may appear between during May and June. The foliage may vary between dark bronze, creamy yellow and dark purple. This plant tolerates areas with shade or partial sunlight. These perennials require moderate temperatures found in Zone 5 and warmer climates. Keep the soil around your bugle weed plants slightly moist at all times. Their shallow roots can quickly dry out and cause the plants to die.
A perennial that tolerates cold temperatures, Lily-of-the-valley grows in climates as cold as Zone 2. Flowers shaped like small, white bells cover upright spikes during the late spring months, emitting a pleasant fragrance. These can grow in dry soils with little shade. This plant’s rapid growth requires occasional thinning and fertilization. The plants can become crowded and may show invasive tendencies.
A perennial that often reseeds itself, stonecrop plants spread quickly during a single season. A type of sedum, stonecrop thrives in Zones 3 and 4. Blossoms appear during the majority of the summer, creating bursts of white, yellow and pink splashes within your landscape. Stonecrop plants grow well in shady areas with dry soil, making them an ideal selection for your rock garden.
This type of rose plant spreads across the soil, forming shoots that embed in the soil and grow new roots. A good selection for erosion control along slopes and banks, this type of rose prefers areas with full sunlight or partial shade. It thrives in Zones 5 and 6 and produces attractive, white blossoms during the month of July. The thorny brambles can collect trash, making it a poor choice for areas with high-traffic.