Ground covers are low-growing plants used to cover a lot of ground or space between other plants. The fastest-growing varieties fill in bare areas quickly, usually within one season.
Ground cover is attractive under and around other plants, deters weeds, and helps prevent erosion of large areas of sloping land.
There are many choices of ground covers: evergreen, deciduous, flowering and non-flowering. Some tolerate full sun while others need shade to look their best.
Vinca minor is a popular fast-growing evergreen ground cover with green, yellow or variegated leaves and purple or white flowers. It blooms in spring and early summer and is a good choice for a shady spot or one that receives partial sun, like under trees.
Creeping phlox is evergreen and blooms profusely when planted in full sun, like on an open slope. The blooms come in a variety of colours and the foliage is dark green and spiky.
The foliage of creeping jenny (or moneywort) is a golden green and it blooms yellow. It can be planted in sun or partial shade. Creeping jenny does well near bogs and ponds.
The fastest-growing ground covers can get out of control in the garden quickly. Aggressively trimming them back in early spring will keep them neat and tidy and within their rightful borders.