Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deer Resistant Ground Covers

Vinca (this one called 'Valley Glow') is pretty much deer safe, though as I have said, starving deer will pretty much eat anything. The plain green vinca has pretty flowers, but if you need a ground cover to choke out weeds and still look pretty, look for one of the variegated leaf ones. This one also has white flowers in the spring.
I told you last time that the Veronicas were a large family. Here's another one, 'Georgia Blue' that is a ground cover. It has its main flush of bloom in the spring, but continues to bloom a bit throughout the season. I just love that blue color. This one wants shade or sun and seems to grow equally well in both places.

Saxifrage stolonifera is a lovely ground cover for shade that sends out runners with little plantlets on the ends kind of like a strawberry will. The variegated leaves and spikes of white flowers make this a nice thing for crawling along the edge of a bed or along a rock wall.

Lyssimachia numularia 'Aurea' will brighten up the darkest places. It grows in sun or shade and it evergreen (evergold?) on mild winters. It flowers in early summer.
Lamium was recommended to me as a plant for dry shade when I first started gardening. I have found that to be not exactly true. Shade is all right and it doesn't ask to be all that moist, but the combination of drought and shade doesn't make it thrive. It might not kill it, but it won't be happy. Just treat it as you would any other shade perennial. Blooms in late spring or early summer. There are lots of different combination of variegation in leaves from this 3 color version to a gold and white one (Beedham's Silver), and green and white ones with either pink of white flowers.

Golden Irish Moss is neither Irish or a Moss, so I don't know where it got the name, but it is great for growing between stepping stones. Not much care is needed and it will take light foot traffic. There is a green version also.

I've written about this one before, Galeobdolon. If you need a ground cover for a problem bank in the shade where you want to prevent erosion and keep anything else from growing, this is your plants. Less than a foot tall with lovely yellow flowers in the spring. BUT, if you think of planting it near anything else, forget it. It will kill off anything near it and is difficult to remove after it gets started. I still think it's pretty, but ...
Tomorrow some vines.

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