Lawn grass is the dominant ground cover plant in American yards, but there are areas where it just isn’t practical. Shady areas, steep slopes, and small spaces just aren’t appropriate for a lawn. These ground cover plants offer an alternative way to cover large areas of the garden with living plants that bring beauty and function to those tricky spots where the grass just won’t grow. Groundcovers can be used for their aesthetic function too. Many of these choices offer color and texture that help to create visual interest in your garden design.
This spreading fern creates a solid mat of fresh green foliage that carpets the ground in shady gardens. Mature patches are thick enough to exclude weeds. Low-maintenance, requiring just one cut back per year in the early spring to remove winter damaged fern. Grows in average or moist soil.
These evergreen grasses solve all manner of tricky garden problems. The rich green foliage does not have to be cut back, they are salt-tolerant, drought-tolerant, pest-resistant, shade-tolerant, and they stay pretty all the way through winter. What more can you ask for? Breeze is mounding, Katrinus Deluxe is upright, Platinum Beauty is variegated, and Tropic Belle has a bold texture.
So tough you couldn’t break it even if you tried, just like everyone’s favorite cornbread pan! Large, upright, evergreen leaves spread slowly to form clumps or masses of dark green. The bold-textured plant thrives in partial sun to deep shade, requiring very little care, and thriving where other plants die.
Border grass is one of the strongest, easiest, and most useful garden plants around. You can plant them in mass to create a pool of green, plant them in a line to border a path, or pack them in tight on a slope to stop erosion. We carry both ‘Emerald Goddess’ and ‘Super Blue’, both grow roughly 1 ½’-2’ tall & wide, they form non-spreading clumps, and produce purple flowers in the summer.
Fine-textured, dark green foliage creeps along the ground to form mats of the prettiest grass you’ll ever see. A full patch of Mondo Grass reminds me of a pool of water, the evergreen waves overlapping each other. Plant Mondo in shade or partial sun (no afternoon sun), takes up to 3 years to fully fill in, so plant it as thick as you can to begin with. Grows 8”-10” tall.
You can’t miss these large globes of rich blue flowers that rise 3’-4’ in the air above thick, strappy, bright green 2’ tall clumps of slowly spreading foliage. Plants prefer super full sun and well-drained soil. The summer flowers form best when the roots are constricted, so plant them thickly and don’t separate your patch even when it grows full.