Instead of a lawn: 9 plants that are resistant to trampling

Instead of a lawn: 9 plants that are resistant to trampling

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It is not easy to find an alternative to the traditional green lawn, but in reality - ground cover plants are completely unpretentious and, in addition, will delight you with flowering. Without bothering with regular grooming, you get a dense green carpet that will make your backyard nice and tidy.

Early thyme

Thyme or thyme is a perennial plant that can be useful not only for landscaping, but also as a seasoning and preparation of drinks, thanks to its unique aroma.

The shrub reaches a height of about 15 centimeters, has strong stems, fluffy foliage, and the flowers are small, purple. Often, there are so many inflorescences that the leaves are almost invisible behind the flower carpet.

Preferred growing conditions: dry soil with good drainage system. Poorly tolerates high humidity, but resistant to prolonged droughts.

Moss leucobry

Gray leucobrius is an ornamental moss with a characteristic velvety surface. Grows in humid climates, common in the Baltic States, temperate European climate. In the wild, it prefers coniferous forests and areas with wet swampy soil.

Due to the low growth rate, it can take a long time to plant a whole lawn with moss, so in landscape design it is often used to give beautiful accents to lowlands, rock gardens and recreation areas. Leucobria is best planted in shaded areas of the garden and needs good moisture.

Creeping Mazus

It is a low, but graceful perennial, the stem length of which does not exceed 10 centimeters, with original and memorable lilac flowers that closely resemble small orchids.

Unpretentious, grows well both in the sun and in shaded areas.

For rapid growth and abundant flowering, it is better to plant it on fertile, well-drained soils, but it also withstands fairly Spartan conditions. Its weak point is severe frosty winters, so it needs good shelter.

River laurentia

Laurentia or isotome is a herbaceous plant up to 30 centimeters high. It is highly prized in landscaping because of its pleasantly shaped dense bushes and delicate, star-like flowers.

River laurentia blooms all summer, and under favorable weather conditions until October, and prefers moist soils and shaded areas. In very swampy soil, it grows poorly, and the roots can begin to rot. It tolerates frost well down to -10 degrees.

The horned lyadvenets

This perennial plant is known for its spectacular appearance as well as its medicinal properties, and is used in traditional medicine. The height reaches about half a meter, the flowers are bright, yellow, with a beautiful orange edging.

This flower is considered one of the most hardy: it grows well on poor loamy soil, is resistant to droughts and floods, and can grow in windy and cold climates. Suitable for those who want to get a beautiful flowering meadow on the site without spending time and effort.

Hernia is smooth

This creeping ornamental plant of the clove family has long creeping shoots, the length of which can reach 30 centimeters. A hernia grows best if not disturbed. It is often used to decorate the sides of the garden beds.

Depending on the lighting, the color of its leaves changes - in the sun they acquire a light yellowish-green hue, and in the shade they become richly emerald.

One of the most unpretentious plants, it copes well with lack of moisture and lack of light. However, it should be remembered that the hernia cannot stand the neighborhood with a large number of cereals. Loves sandy soils, tolerates winter cold well and does not need additional shelter.

Bryozoan subulate

It is also called Irish moss. In fact, it is a herbaceous plant about 7-8 centimeters high, one of the most resistant to trampling - you can walk, run and jump on it without causing any damage.

Growing bryozoans will prevent any weeds from appearing on the lawn - this plant displaces them completely. Among other things, it does not require regular watering, additional moisture is required only in severe drought.

It grows very quickly, the damaged areas on the lawn are very quickly re-covered with new shoots. The flowers are small, light, give an interesting decorative effect and spread a sweet honey aroma.

Rough kotula

Kotula, or palm, decorate areas near water bodies, alpine slides, paths. Height reaches no more than 10 centimeters, the leaves have a pleasant muted green tint. The decorative effect of the kotula is mainly due to the leaves of an interesting shape, while the flowers are rather plain.

Resistant not only to trampling, but also to temperature changes. Additional watering is not required, there is enough natural precipitation. It grows well even on poor soils and does not need additional fertilization.

You can not be afraid to plant Kotulu in bright, sunny places, it does not need shading. Possesses high winter hardiness. It grows poorly on swampy and too moist soils.

Muhlenbeckia axillary

A low shrub, reaching about 20 centimeters. Its intertwined shoots form a solid green carpet. Grows in lighted areas of the garden, and in partial shade. Loves good and abundant watering, is resistant to pests and diseases.

For a good build-up of green mass, periodic feeding with organic fertilizers, tracking irrigation will be required. It does not tolerate winter temperatures below 5 degrees below zero, so it is best to plant it in regions with warm winters or provide good shelter.

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Plants that will replace the lawn

More than one garden plot is complete without a neat lawn. However, ordinary lawn grass needs constant care: cutting, feeding and moisturizing. Gardeners looking to simplify their lawn maintenance are using alternative plants that can evenly cover the ground with a thick carpet. The advantage of such plants is their ability to bloom, tolerance to trampling and the option of cutting. In our article, we will tell you about plants that can be used to replace your lawn.

10 best ground covers for planting in the shade:

1. Sedum escaping, or escaping sedum

Unlike most stonecrops, stonecrop (Sedum stoloniferum) grows well in the shade. Sedum escaping quickly enough forms a loose evergreen ground cover, 8-10 cm high. During flowering - up to 10-15 cm high.

stonecrop blooms in June-July

2. Pachisandra apical

Apical pachisandra (Pachysandra terminalis) forms a beautiful stable cover up to 30 cm high in shady flower beds. It is a long-rhizomed semi-shrub with three tiers of leaves. The leaves hibernate under the green snow and live for 3 years. Pachisandra blooms in mid-May with little decorative green small flowers and does not form seeds. Propagated by segments of rhizomes.

Pachisandra grows well and resists weeds: great for decorating shady areas of the garden.

The variegated variety is interesting for planting. Variegata and undersized - Green Carpet.

Pachisandra grows best in shaded areas, although it also tolerates full lighting. Does not need watering and feeding. It is not affected by diseases and pests and has good winter hardiness.

When planting several seedlings with a distance of 20-25 cm, the plants will close in 1-1.5 years.

3. Ducheney, false strawberry, or Indian cinquefoil

Indian Duchenne (Potentilla indica, Duchesnea indica) is sometimes confused with wild strawberries. In principle, there is nothing wrong with that, its berries are not dangerous to health, but their taste, to put it mildly, is rather mediocre. The plant is still ornamental, not fruit, and red berries serve mainly as a decoration for the garden.

Dusheney blooms with yellow flowers (strawberries - white). It grows well both in the shade and in the sun, forms a dense ground cover and is not whimsical in culture.

ducheneu cover in the shady garden

4. Creeping insect

The tenacious has long attracted the attention of both professional landscape planners and ordinary summer residents with its ability to quickly form a dense ground cover, as well as winter hardiness and drought resistance. In gardening in the middle lane and to the north, two types are most common - creeping tenacious (Ajuga reptans) and pyramidal (Ajuga pyramidalis).

The creeping insect (Ajuga reptans) is a pretty pretty evergreen plant that forms a rosette 7-10 cm high. In mid-spring, a peduncle grows from the center of the rosette up to 30 cm tall. Regardless of the color, the leaves of the creeping tenacious are always hibernating: during the next spring they are replaced by young ones. Moreover, the spring change of leaves takes place gradually, hardly noticeable, and the leaf cover of the tenacious never loses its decorative effect.

Interesting variety Burgundy glow, in which young leaves are lilac-pink with yellowish spots, and Multicolor - one of the most beautiful varieties, the leaves of which combine green, white, pink and yellow colors.

Flowering of a variety of creeping creeping Chocolate Chip

5. Periwinkle

Perennial creeping evergreens forming a dense low ground cover. Periwinkles bloom beautifully and for a long time in spring with single lilac flowers, which will add decorativeness to your "lawn".

Ideal conditions for periwinkle are shady and semi-shady areas of the garden with fertile and loose soils. Winter-hardy: even if the periwinkle foliage is damaged by frost, it quickly recovers during the summer.

A dark green carpet of periwinkle leaves, as if miraculously emerging from under the snow, will become one of the most spectacular and cute spring decorations in your garden.

6. Ivy buddra

In the garden, as a rule, one species is grown - ivy budra (Glechoma hederacea) - a perennial with long creeping shoots covered with wintering rounded pubescent leaves. The plant is unpretentious, develops well both in semi-shady places and in the light. It grows very quickly, quite aggressive.

Grows well in containers, decorating them with hanging shoots.

flowering budra ivy

7. Clefthoof

In gardens, the most common European gingerbread (Asarum europaeum) is a creeping plant 10-15 cm high. The root system is a surface-located, branching rhizome, which grows by 4-5 cm per year. Leaves are leathery, wintering. They die off in May next year, after the regrowth of young leaves. The flowers are hidden under the leaves in spring and have no decorative value.

You can also grow the tailed hoof (Asarum caudatum), a plant native to the coniferous forests of the western United States. This is also a plant with a long, shallow, branching rhizome. Its leaves are larger (up to 15 cm in diameter). It also blooms in May, but its flowers are more decorative. The cover created by the tailed hoof is looser than that of the European, because the annual growth of the rhizome is about 10 cm.

European hoof is used as a ground cover plant for shady areas of the garden. The growth rate of the rhizome is not high, but it forms very dense clumps: for 1m 2 up to 1000 leaves!
But, unfortunately, it grows in one place for no more than 5 years, so the cover must be renewed or replaced with other crops.

8. Umbilical cord, omphalodes

Perennial low (10-20 cm) plants that form a basal rosette and bloom with bright blue flowers, similar to large forget-me-nots. The thickets of the umbilical are formed very quickly due to the numerous "whiskers" that appear immediately after flowering.

In culture, it is mainly the spring navel (Omphalodes verna), evergreen and stable in culture, is widespread. The only thing is that he does not tolerate stagnant moisture and prefers loose soils.

Due to the active vegetative growth, the umbilical cord is often called "creeping forget-me-not."

9. Lamb speckled, or spotted

Lamb spotted, or speckled (Lamium maculatum) is a ground cover plant up to 20 cm high. It grows quickly and can be used instead of a lawn in shady areas. For planting, it prefers shady and moist places with nutrient-rich soil. Hibernates without shelter. May behave aggressively.

Lamb has a lot of decorative leaf cultivars that can decorate any garden.

10. Waldsteinia

Waldsteinia ternata (Waldsteinia ternata) is a low-growing creeping perennial, up to 15-20 cm high. In the shade it forms a thick carpet of dark green lobed leaves. It blooms with yellow flowers in May and June. Unpretentious, winter-hardy.

Waldsteinia prefers planting in the shade, in the sun its leaves fade and lose their decorative effect.

A Brief Description of Popular Ground Cover Plants

Below are some types of perennials with descriptions and photos.


The well-known perennial periwinkle (Vinca) is decorated with glossy leaves found in many varieties. In addition to the most popular small periwinkle with blue flowers, we can recommend the following varieties:

  1. Elisa - with white flowers
  2. Vinca major Variegata is a periwinkle with large white leaves.

Periwinkle comes from central and western Europe and grows naturally in the southwestern regions. Creates eye-catching compact cushions of blue-green narrow leaves. During flowering, flowers (usually pink, "float" on thin stems above the leaves, but varieties can bloom white, light or dark pink). Their distinguishing feature is a strong, pleasant aroma.


Blue carnation requires permeable soil and tolerates drought well. Suitable for low beds, rock gardens, walls. The best to plant perennials in large groups - 12 per 1 m². Cultivars vary in color from white to deep pink-red.

Crane or garden geranium

Red garden geranium is a small perennial belonging to the Geraniaceae family. Geranium grows up to 40-50 cm tall. In nature, it is found in Asia, Europe, where it willingly lives in sunny meadows, slopes, forest edges. Garden geranium is grown for its beautiful flowers, which, depending on the variety, are:

  • red ("Max Frei"),
  • pink ("Elke"),
  • white ("Album").

Geranium usually begins to bloom in May and blooms continuously until September. Perennial forms low, dense, compact bushes of green, small leaves. The bushes grow in large green cushions. In autumn, the red geranium leaves take on an orange-red color, becoming an interesting decoration of the garden.

Perennial is undemanding, easy to grow, prefers sunny or slightly shaded areas and light, limestone soils. Will also grow on weak, gravelly-clayey soils. Geranium is frost-resistant, does not require shelter in winter. Propagated by dividing the bush.

Ground cover geranium is recommended for planting on walls, slopes, ridges, ideal for naturalistic plantings, rock gardens.

Phlox subulate

Phlox is native to North America. This sod plant with shoots up to 10 cm in height creates low, dense carpets that grow rapidly in different directions due to creeping, highly branched shoots. A subulate phlox blooms from mid-May to early June. Pale pink flowers form at the ends of the stems. There are varieties in white, pink, purple colors.

Phloxes require permeable soil, even sandy, neutral or slightly acidic, sunny places. Flowers are durable, decorative only with careful care, fertilization, require protection for the winter.Low phloxes are used for beds with low perennials, in rock gardens, on walls.

Small-leaved acene

Perennial with reddish shoots lying on the ground, reaching a length of 1 meter. The attractiveness of the Acene is created by small foliage up to 10 cm long, consisting of serrated blue-green leaves. The leaves give the plant an interesting blue-green color. Spherical inflorescences bloom from July to September, yellow-green flowers with red stamens, located on stems 10-15 cm long.

Acene grows well in sunny and semi-shady places. It is planted next to coniferous and low shrubs on sandy loam soils. Perennial grows strongly, requires a lot of space. Acena is planted in rocky gardens along stone walls.

Acaena buchananii is a perennial that grows shoots 5-10 centimeters high and creates dense carpets. Prefers sunny locations. Acena has blue-green leaves, beautiful white-green flowers. Perennial decoration is thorny fruits. Blooms from June to August.

Aubrieta cultural (aubretia)

Perennial grows 8-15 cm in height, produces small, single flowers of white, pink, purple, blue. Aubretia blooms from April to May. Requires sunny positions. It grows less well compared to other ground cover plants.

Sedum false

Sedum or sedum grows on the slopes of the mountains. Perennial can be planted on stony soils and as a grazing plant. The plant is characterized by strong growth, quickly covering the surface with turf 15 centimeters high. Because of the strong growth, it is worth thinning out the site every 2 years.

Loves poor sandy, rocky, permeable soils with neutral pH. Shelter is required for the winter, may freeze. Leaves of Caucasian stonecrop are evergreen, small, ovate, slightly serrated. In spring, the leaves of the variety are brown-purple, then turn into dark purple. Stems, in which flowers do not develop, are shorter, and the shoots of inflorescences are longer and rise upward. Sedum flowers appear from June to August, usually dark carmine.

Armeria seaside

The purple or white armeria seaside is suitable for sunny locations. The leaves of the plant are narrow, herbaceous, forming dense, spherical, dark green cushions.

Tenacious creeping

The tenacious (Ajuga reptans) loves semi-shady and shady places. The most popular varieties are those with a purple tinge of leaves, but in recent years there have been many varieties with different colors of leaves and flowers, for example.

  • Ajuga Toffee Chip - with green leaves
  • Ajuga Black Scallop is a beautiful, award-winning variety with very dark leaves
  • Ajuga Burgundy Glow is a multi-colored, blue-blooming.

Loaf of coins

The plant forms long shoots with small green or yellow leaves. It blooms in yellow, quickly covers shady and semi-shaded corners.

Badan hearty

Bergenia or badan (Bergenia cordifolia) has large, glossy, green leaves that look spectacular all year round. Good plant for shade and sun (leaves are slightly red in the sun).

Unusual varieties look interesting:

  1. Silberlicht - with white flowers
  2. Lunar Glow - with golden first spring growths.

European Clefthoof

Clefthoof (Asarum europaeum) is a very good plant covering shady positions. The perennial has glossy leaves of a very characteristic shape.

Apical pachisandra

Japanese pachisandra (Pachysandra Terminalis) is a perennial plant, loves shady positions, reaches a height of 20-30 cm. The perennial has leathery, evergreen leaves. The flowers are small, inconspicuous white, gathered in bunches. Blooms from April to May.


The plant includes over 200 species. The range of the genus includes the continents of the northern hemisphere. Many species are grown as ornamental and used in medicine. In ancient times, the plant was used to prepare medications with a calming effect. Some species are especially suitable for rock gardens.

Creeping cinquefoil

Spiny broadleaf shrub. Occasionally found in North America, Asia, Europe, Great Britain, southern Sweden.

The shrub has a compact rounded shape, straight shoots are covered with brown-red bark, reaches a height of 30-120 cm.Leaves, consisting of 5 leaves, small, with a short tail, lanceolate, narrowed at the base, the entire edge is dark green at the top and covered with silvery hairs on the underside.

Creeping thyme

The perennial creates a dense carpet of greenery. It blooms with small pink flowers. The plant is fragrant. Grows on sandy soils, in sunny places. Doesn't like shadow. Used to cover soil, walls, rock gardens.

Saxifrage shadow

Mountain perennial, originally from the Pyrenees. The bush creates a dense rosette of leathery evergreen leaves, from which at the turn of spring and summer, shoots grow with small, numerous flowers resembling the shape of a star. The petals are white or pale pink. The saxifrage is sensitive to drought, does not like standing water.

It feels best in humus, permeable, moist soil. Saxifrage grows well in partial shade under tree crowns, is suitable for a rock garden (it can be planted in crevices of a dry wall) and cover a small area. It is planted according to the scheme: 1-10 plants per 1 sq. m. Variegata leaves are covered with thin creamy spots.

Arabis Caucasian

Perennial grows up to 10-20 cm in height, creates dense cushions. Arabis produces a large number of small flowers, white or pink. Blooms from March to May, loves sunny positions.

Derain Canadian

Cornus canadensis - Canadian turf - perennial creeping plant, reaches a height of 20-30 cm, grows rapidly. The flowers are collected in capsule inflorescences at the tops of the shoots, form spherical fruits of bright red color, by winter the aerial part of the plant disappears almost completely. Application: excellent as a groundcover among tall shrubs.

Derain grows best in semi-shady places, can be grown in sunny places, requires fertile soils.

Epimedium large-flowered

Groundcover Epimedium grandiflorum is a perennial native to Japan, reaches a height of 20-30 cm, the leaves are brown-green in spring, green in summer. Flowering Period: White or yellow flowers appear in May.

Preferred position: shady, moist and permeable soil, rich in organic matter, pruning old leaves in autumn encourages the growth of new ones in spring, but leave them alone - if the temperature does not drop too low, the leaves turn red and remain decorative for a long time. Reproduction: by dividing at the end of summer, the plant is planted at intervals of 20 -25 cm.

Houttuynia cordate

A perennial plant hauttuynia (Houttuynia cordata) reaches a height of 20 cm, forms long shoots, from which grow leaves covered with spots. Preferred position: semi-shady places (in lighter places the leaves are light colored, in shady places - green), moist soil. In our climate, the aboveground parts of plants usually freeze.

The ground cover hauttuynia propagates in the spring by dividing, you can also cut cuttings from fragments of shoots. Saplings are planted at a distance of 50 cm.

Runny ordinary

The plant is up to 20 cm tall and quickly forms a mass of green leaves with white fringes that disappear in summer. Flowering period: In summer, white flowers appear, replacing disappearing foliage. Application: Ideal as a groundcover under large trees and shrubs.

Situation: moaning is not picky about the soil and position, grows in the sun, in the shade, tolerates heavy, loamy and light soils.

Attention - thanks to underground roots, the plant grows quickly. In order not to lose control, it is best to plant it in a place that provides natural boundaries - for example, between the wall of a building and a walkway.

Reproduction: by dividing in the spring, the plants are planted at intervals of 15-30 cm.

Spring navel

The plant comes from the south of Europe. The height of the stems is 20 cm, it forms a bunch of shoots on which heart-shaped leaves grow on long petioles. A special decoration of the plant is azure blue flowers. Flowering period: April - May.

The ground cover navel loves a sunny or partial shade position, blooms in sunny places. In summer, it requires regular watering, loves humus soils, moist, rich in calcium. Reproduction: by dividing in the spring after flowering or in the fall.


The lawn nowadays decorates many areas, but there is an alternative to it - a carpet garden of ground cover plants.

By the way, from them you can choose the most suitable for the specific conditions of your garden, while the lawn does not work everywhere: in an excessively humid or hot area, under the scorching sun, cereal grasses feel bad.

Ground cover plants reach a height of only 10-20 cm, but most importantly, they are unpretentious, grow quickly and form clumps, sods, pillows. You do not need to cut them (although some are possible), the plants are decorative in themselves.

Most winters endure well, does not require shelter, and you can pick up plants in accordance with the area that you allocate for a carpet garden.


Here you can plant Arabis (rezuha) - Caucasian, Alpine or ciliated (it is the smallest), which bloom in May-June with white, pink, red flowers. In summer, the ara bis is beautiful without flowers. They are often decorated with alpine slides and retaining walls, from which the plant falls in a cascade.

Be sure to pay attention to the rock alyssum - compact bushes in May-June bloom with various colors of flowers (the choice of the variety is yours) with an amazing honey aroma. And here we will mention the cultural (hybrid) obrietta - no more than 20 cm high, the leaves winter under the snow, the flowers can be double and simple, of different colors. Phlox subulate blooms in late May - June, flowers are white, pink, blue, red, there are also bicolor varieties. Veronica gentian forms pillows, over which pale blue flowers in spike-shaped inflorescences rise in late May - early June. This species has a dwarf form called Nana.

Iberis forms a round high cushion, especially beautiful during flowering in May-June.

The herb carnation has loose bushes, but it blooms all summer, from June to August, decorating the garden with bright flowers - white, pink, red, two-colored, depending on the variety. Pinnate carnation forms dense clumps up to 1 m in diameter, and blooms in May-June with white and pale pink flowers. I also belong to the carnation family. Plant Bieberstein's and felt as a ground cover.

Creeping thyme (thyme) is often planted on an alpine hill. It blooms profusely from May to July with purple or white flowers. The leaves can be used in cooking and added to tea. Gypsophila creeping is the most unpretentious and the shortest (no higher than 20 cm) among other species of this plant. Small white and pink flowers appear in June-July. Sedum caustic during the flowering period will always cheer you up - bright yellow flowers-stars seem to illuminate everything around.


Here plant the already mentioned Iberis, herbal and feathery carnations (besides them, sandy cloves are also suitable, forming a dense sod of dense leafy shoots with beautiful white flowers and petals, like a fringe), subulate and turfy phlox. In arid places, silvery rugs form Bieberstein chippings, felt or silvery, Evers sedum, Alpine arabis. And creeping gypsophila has original gray-green rugs, which at the time of flowering become white from flowers.


The creeping tenacious is a real find for difficult areas, it is not for nothing that it is called a tenacious, and also an unfading one. Forms rugs of green or brown leaves; during the flowering period, spike-shaped inflorescences with blue flowers rise above them. Ivy buddra is also good for shade and partial shade (with the exception of variegated varieties that need sun). Veronica filamentous grows in meadows, forming green carpets (you probably met her in nature or in parks). The rug is rather loose, and it happens that the plant does not like the place, and it falls out. However, for the sake of the unusually delicate blue flowers that appear in early summer and hover over the curtain, this species is worth growing.

The loosestrife monkey has light green leaves (or golden - in decorative forms), round, like coins, creeping shoots and yellow flowers. Forms a thick rug, very beautiful next to a pond. It looks original in the carpet garden of Indian dusheney (cinquefoil), which outwardly looks like wild strawberries, but its berries are tasteless.

Ducheney is not only a carpet plant, but also an ampelous one, it can be planted in a flowerpot. Sod phlox grows in height by only 10-12 cm, on a thin branching stem - green lanceolate leaves and white or purple tubular flowers. For a carpet garden in partial shade, flowers such as lily of the valley, fragrant violet, swamp forget-me-not are also suitable.


Small periwinkle will feel good here (creeping shoots form large carpets of dark green leaves, purple flowers resemble phlox flowers). And also the cops have a European shadow - its leaves, similar in shape to the footprint of a horse's hoof, form a dense rounded hat 10-15 cm high, which, expanding, turns into a rug. The flowers are invisible and ugly. Saxifrage shady (urban) forms a rug about 10 cm high, its leaves are dense, evergreen, in variegated forms - with white patterns (but they look brighter in well-lit areas). Hostas (funkias) grow well in the shade, and although these are not ground cover plants, they form neat dense bushes, in dwarf varieties they are very low, which will fit perfectly into a shady carpet garden.


Here you can plant the already described loosestrife monkey, Veronica gentian, European hoof, May lily of the valley, Indian dushe-ney, fragrant and horned violets. In addition, pay attention to the ordinary cuff (when it grows, forms a dense high carpet), meadow geranium, goose cinquefoil.

Let me remind you that many of the plants listed here are also used to decorate an alpine slide, they look great among stones, braid them, and cascade down.


It's pretty straightforward. Young plants need weeding. But when the curtains are formed, they themselves begin to displace the weeds, and in the future weeding will no longer be required. After flowering in many ground cover plants, it is necessary to cut the peduncles so as not to spoil the appearance of the flower garden. Phlox needs to be said especially: they need minimal pruning. It is carried out after the end of flowering, then, perhaps, you will see repeated flowering in August. If there are no flowers this month, then pruning can be done now so that next spring the bushes look neat: carefully trim the tops of the shoots with sharp scissors or pruning shears.

In August or early September, you can correct your carpet garden: remove unnecessarily overgrown parts of plants (some of them can crowd neighbors), plant newcomers so that they have time to take root and grow stronger in a new place before winter comes. It is only better to choose not the hottest day for these procedures.

© Author: L. SUMAROKOVA, florist


Ground covers you can walk safely on

Herbaceous perennials from among the ground cover species, for the most part, cannot compete with real mosses in resistance to trampling. But there are a few exceptions to this rule.Such plants will help create not only green, hardy, durable and low-maintenance green carpets, but also attractive flowering areas and transitions.

Subulate bryozoan (Sagina subulata)

One of the most popular perennial crops, which is used as a hardy ground cover for those places where they often walk, is a plant that became famous under the name of Irish, or Scottish moss, but has nothing to do with real mosses. This is about bryozoan styloid (Sagina subulata). This is a unique perennial from the Carnation family, forming a dense mossy cushion up to 8 cm high from narrow bright leaves on lodging shoots and surprising with its simple five-petalled snow-white flowers that bloom all summer. Bryozoan is rightly called one of the best candidates for decorating a Japanese garden; it is suitable for filling large areas in rockeries and rock gardens, for planting between the slabs of stepping and ordinary rocky paths. Bryozoans do not require a haircut and practically does not need any care, apart from the need for protection from drought during flowering and from snowlessness in winter. Bryozoan prefers sunny places and loams.

Tenacious creeping, or creeping ayuga (Ajuga reptans)

Tenacious creeping, or ayuga creeping (Ajuga reptans) is often perceived as a weed in our country, although the best varieties of this groundcover, in particular the legendary “Chocolate Chip”, are some of the hardiest perennial candidates for attractive shaded areas. Ayugs do not lose their decorative effect for many years in one place and do not grow over. Dark leaves with a chocolate, purple or bronze tint are quite delicate, they are collected in root rosettes. Shoots spread and take root in nodes. Dark blue or blue whorled inflorescences further emphasize the differences in color of the plant from the surrounding perennials. Ayuga is best used to fill large gaps in walking paths, in combined paving of paths and platforms. She will endure both the sun and full shade, grows in any soil. Caring for it comes down to watering in a very severe drought.

Anacyclus medicinal, or Slyunogon medicinal (Anacyclus pyrethrum). © Jean-Paul Peltier

Anacyclus officinalis, or Medicinal saliva (Anacyclus pyrethrum), - despite the fact that its simple basket flowers are so reminiscent of chamomile, this plant is unique even among ground covers. The creeping shoots are arranged in a circle, radially, and the muffled, rather dark, anacyclus leaves are very strongly dissected into tiny lobes and create a dense cover. Flowers up to 5 cm in diameter seem huge against the background of dark greenery. The plant blooms in early summer (or late spring in favorable years). Anacyclus is able to grow only in sunny areas, does not tolerate even the slightest shade, but it takes root well in any soil and remains in one place for decades. It is better for him to select slightly alkaline and clayey soils, in winter he is afraid of getting wet. It is not suitable for the role of a substitute for a lawn, but for filling gaps and voids in paths and on sites.

Gryzhnik smooth, or Gryzhnik naked (Herniaria glabra)

Hernia is smooth, or Gryzhnik naked (Herniaria glabra) is known all over the world simply under the name "Green Carpet" - Green Carpet. This is a unique ground cover, capable of covering more than half a square meter of territory alone. Drought-resistant, rapidly spreading, forming a dense canopy, the hernia forms a sufficiently thick and dense covering, suitable for the formation of even large green areas. The flowering of the hernia is almost imperceptible, the leaves change their intense herbaceous color to a reddish bronze by winter. This plant can be walked freely, its endurance is quite comparable to the best mosses.

River Laurentia, or River Isotoma (Isotoma fluviatilis)

River laurentia, or River isotome (Isotoma fluviatilis) Is one of the most resistant to constant trampling of plants, which can be used not only for paving, but also for replacing grass lawns in very large areas. But it is suitable only for the southern regions (its winter hardiness is only up to -15 degrees). This plant blooms literally all season, right down to the very frosts, releasing touching stars of flowers. The only drawbacks of laurentia are considered to be its tendency to lose decorativeness in summer and the lack of an attractive evergreen cover in the cold season. The plant develops rather slowly, spends several years on high-quality rooting: it will not work out of it quickly to create a canopy, but the laurentia then demonstrates amazing resistance and requires almost no maintenance. This plant prefers moist soils, is used as an alternative to the lawn and filler near water bodies, it needs sunny locations.

Leptinella rough, or Kotula (Leptinella squalida). © STEPABLES

Leptinella rough, which we still call simply kotula (Leptinella squalida) - one of the best ground covers for replacing the lawn in large areas and decorating walking paths. This plant flaunts with its fern-like foliage and forms a very dense cover, pleasant to the touch. The leaves are dark, with a brownish tint. One of the main advantages of kotula is called an attractive but underestimated yellow bloom, during which the plant massively attracts honey insects to itself, as well as a color change in the fall to delicious bronze shades. Kotula, with constant trampling, loses the ability to bloom (but the leaves hardly suffer from this). Leptinella grows well both in the sun and in partial shade, does not tolerate winter and spring moonshine, grows on any drained soils.

The horned lyadvenets (Lotus corniculatus) - one of the most spectacular ground cover. Creates a curly, lacy, strikingly dense finish. Shoots up to 60 cm long lie or rise to form a matted carpet. Lyadvenets is able to reveal his beauty even on very large areas and in the most unfavorable conditions. It is a sun-loving ground cover with finger-like, intensely green leaves combined with bright yellow semi-double flowers. In addition to the function of strengthening the soil, lyadvenets also improves them, playing the role of siderat. If you want to get a denser and more even surface, the rug can be mowed.

Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans). © P. Allen Smith

Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans) - one of the most beautifully flowering ground covers, which is used as a plant resistant to trampling only for rock gardens and rockeries, light drained and stony soils. But on the other hand, the mazuses tolerate light partial shade well. It is a miniature and not at all aggressive look, creating a resilient, attractive carpet that always looks fresh. The plant will not exceed 5 cm in height, although the shoots can grow up to half a meter in length. But the main advantage of Mazus is summer flowering. Mazus creeping enters the garden scene in June and pleases with its lilac-lilac flowers with light spots, the shape of which resembles a snapdragon, before the arrival of autumn.

Muehlenbeckia axillaris, or Muehlenbeckia dwarf (Muehlenbeckia axillaris)

Muhlenbeckia axillary, or Mühlenbeckia dwarf (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) is surprisingly quick to create a dense curly cover on slopes and rockeries, but can be used on light and loose soils and as a ground cover. True, this is not an evergreen, but a deciduous species, but the beauty of the sod and the change in colors fully compensate for the shedding of foliage. One plant on fertile soil can grow up to a meter in diameter. This beautiful plant requires only one procedure - cutting in spring to strengthen the shoots and seal the canopy. Round green leaves are very attractive and miniature; in the heat and in autumn they change color to bronze. White berries are actively tied on the rug, although the flowering is generally nondescript.

Early thyme (Thymus praecox)

Early thyme (Thymus praecox) Is the simplest, yet ideal candidate for filling gaps between stones or slabs. With some effort, they also create lawns resistant to trampling. Thyme is also often used to create mixed "spotted" walking coatings, combining with other perennials. Small leaves on rather tough and slender shoots are rich in essential oils; walking through thyme is accompanied by a fragrant trail. Plants are miniature, sods grow constantly, forming loose rugs, with which loose spikelets of light lilac inflorescences are in perfect harmony. A haircut after flowering thickens the carpet, and occasional watering in summer helps to preserve its decorative effect (without watering, thyme often dries up and looks faded in the second half of the season).

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