Ground Covers

 The Many Gardening Advantages Of Planting Ground Covers

The advantages of planting a ground cover instead of a lawn are many. Ground covers, especially those that are shade-loving, can grow in places that lawn grasses can’t. They smother weeds, keep the ground cool, pull toxins out of the air and absorb rainwater, which reduces the risk of flooding or overwhelming the septic system. Ground covers also help prevent soil erosion, which makes them excellent choices for slopes.If the ground cover is planted in a busy, noisy area, it absorbs sounds and makes everything quieter. Ground covers attract birds, helpful insects and other animals, which is a boon to the local biodiversity. They are a beautiful complement to other plants in the gardens, including flower beds, trees, and shrubs. Some types of ground cover give off a delicious scent when they are walked upon. This includes plants such as thyme. Other plants that make excellent ground cover are:Bugle — Ajuga
This plant, which does well in hardiness zones 3 to 9 produces carpets of bright blue, white, pink or violet flowers in the late spring and summer. It likes well-drained loam that’s on the acidic side and thrives in full sun to light shade.Lady’s Mantle — Alchemilla Mollis
This plant produces tiny green and yellow-green blossoms from low mats of lovely foliage. The flowers dry well and are great for floral arrangements. Like bugle, Lady’s Mantle blooms in late spring to early summer and likes full sun to light shade.Thrift — Armeria maritima
Also called sea pink, this ground cover produces clusters of white, pink or rose-colored flowers on stalks above grass-like leaves that stay green all year long. It likes well-drained, sandy soil and full sun and does best in hardiness zones 3 to 8.Ivies — Hedera
This favorite plant grows best in hardiness zones 4 to 10. One of the reasons it is popular is that it can become in both full shade and full sun. Once it is established, it needs little care. Its deep roots prevent soil erosion when it's placed on steep banks.