Prevention is always better than cure, you know. So if you are fed up of the weeds in your garden, either trying to stay on top of them or trying to turn a blind eye. Read on here because this is one of my favourite tactics to combat them and not only is this prevention better than cure, it’s also easier and prettier!
Enter the world of ground cover plants – the secret weapon that not only tames those pesky weeds but also adds a touch of pizazz to your garden. The three I am about to talk to you about are my top picks because they are all ‘evergreen’ so not only look lovely in summer but help beat the winter dreariness.
The basic premise is that the less access weed seeds have to the soil, the light and the moisture in the garden, the harder it is for them to establish and – worse still – spread! There are a huge variety to choose from and finding the one that works in your garden and you like the look of is the trick.
These amazing plants form a dense carpet that outshines weeds by shading the soil and putting them in their place. It’s like watching your garden become a weed-fighting warrior, all while you sit back and enjoy the show.
1. Lamium “Roseum”: Our Charming Sidekick
Meet Lamium “Roseum” my superhero of ground cover plants. With its heart-shaped leaves and delicate flowers, Lamium brings elegance and flair to my garden. It’s a multitasking wonder that thrives in both sun and shade, adapting to your garden’s needs like a true boss lady. Lamium spreads like wildfire, conquering weeds left and right and leaving your garden looking effortlessly chic. It has a beautiful purple flower in summer but I think the real plus-point of this plant is that not only does it like shade (always a trickier problem to solve) but the colour of the leaves is so beautifully pale, that it brightens up those darker shady corners – AND it is evergreen. It is a true superstar!
2. Aubretia: The Queen of Colour in Trouble Spots
Are you ready to add a burst of colour to your garden while showing those weeds you can’t be bested!? Enter Aubretia, the vibrant ground cover plant that turns your garden. There are a few particular points about Aubretia that wins it a spot in my Top 3. Firstly, it flowers in late Spring and early Summer when the Spring bulbs have faded and the rest of garden has yet to burst fully into life – giving it a precious spot in the calendar. It is the definition of low maintenance, requiring minimal watering and thrives in rocky or poor soil conditions, proving that you can have beauty and low-maintenance gardening all in one fabulous package. With its cascading nature and modest needs, it can grow in walls and rockeries easily. It comes in purples, pinks and whites so you can combine varieties to create a tapestry effect and it holds its leaves all winter.
3. Snow-in-Summer: Weed-Free Style
Who says winter is the only time for snow? Snow-in-Summer (or Cerastium tomentosum), with its silver-gray foliage and delicate white flowers, brings a winter wonderland to your garden all year round. This enchanting ground cover plant forms a lush, weed-suppressing blanket that adds a touch of magic to your outdoor space. And guess what? Snow-in-Summer is a hardy perennial that can handle drought, so a real no-fuss winner. It does love a sunny spot, so don’t try this one in shade but like Aubretia, it will grow in walls and crevices.
Embrace the Fun, Skip the Weeds
Let’s talk about the perks of using ground cover plants beyond weed suppression. Not only do they make your life easier by minimizing the need for weeding, but they also contribute to soil conservation, retain moisture like a pro, and can work with the rest of your planting scheme to create a l. And let’s not forget the wildlife! Many ground cover plants attract beneficial insects and pollinators, transforming your garden into a buzzing hotspot for nature’s finest too.
Spreading Your Ground Cover Wings
If you plan on looking for other groundcover plants to suit your garden, here are some tips:
- Make sure the plant you choose forms a tightly-knit blanket over the soil. There is probably only one thing worse than weeding and that’s trying to weed BETWEEN the stems and trails of a ground cover plant.
- Look for ones that are hardy and perennial. Weeds get started earlier than many plants in the garden – that is their sneaky way to thrive. So you need to ensure that your ground cover plant is up and running before the weeds get to work. A hardy perennial plant like those I have suggested here, will do that.
- Slug resistance is really important. With the leaves of the plant close to or on the ground, the slugs can decimate groundcover in no time.
Gardening is changing and there is a move to more natural, less manicured style but it’s still ok to not be mad about weeds. You don’t need to feel bad for not wanting to leave your garden to nature fully. But working with the right plants, mean you can have the look you want for your garden, nature can have its share too and it doesn’t have to be a tonne of work – win-win.
For more common-sense tips to make gardening less work and more enjoyable, download my 5 quick Garden wins here
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