Hardy ground covers are an enrichment for the garden in many ways: On the one hand, they spread across the board and displace annoying weeds. On the other hand, their colorful flowers (if they have any) serve as an important source of food for many bees and insects. And as an added bonus on top of that, most strains keep their leaves all year round - as long as they have the suffix "evergreen". In the following we present five hardy ground covers that are suitable for large areas and sometimes also for the balcony, terrace or even the windowsill.
As the name suggests, this plant is a lemon-scented groundcover. Not only is it hardy and evergreen, it can also be used for cooking, just like ordinary thyme. Brewed with hot water, a tasty tea can be conjured up from the small leaves. But what is even more important: lemon thyme forms dense and hard-wearing cushions, which is why it is also well suited for (rock) gardens. The growth height is between ten and fifteen centimetres. As far as the location is concerned, the plant prefers a sunny to partially shaded place. The pink flowers, on the other hand, only appear from May to July.
The evergreen cushion perennial "Mazus Reptans" (also known as the cleft lip) is an equally popular ground cover: Its purple flowers, which are at their most beautiful between May and July, look like small butterflies. The hardy plant comes from the Himalayas and is therefore resistant to freezing temperatures. If you keep a distance of 20 to 30 centimeters between each seedling, the ground cover usually grows 15 centimeters in height - in sunny but also shady locations. If you don't have a garden, you can also use the plant as a bed border.
This hardy ground cover is not only an asset for the garden: bees, bumblebees and butterflies also enjoy the yellowish-green flower umbels of the Andean cushion 'Azorella' in early summer, between May and June. The great advantage of the plant is that it grows quickly and densely (five to ten centimeters high) so that weeds no longer stand a chance. In the cold winter months, the dark green foliage cushion comes into its own in a sunny to semi-shady place in the (rock) garden or bed, which usually requires little care.
Although this evergreen groundcover only flowers from spring to late summer, it also has dark green leaves in winter that catch the eye: Vinca minor 'Blue' (also called Small Periwinkle) is particularly easy to care for and has few demands on its location. Whether sunny, partially shaded or fully shaded - the space in the garden can vary. The hardy perennial grows up to 20 centimeters high and prefers loose, humus-rich soil. The plant rarely needs to be watered, unless there is prolonged drought.
The fact that ivy can grow anywhere and anytime is a thorn in the side of many hobby gardeners. The hardy groundcover spreads quickly and is hard to get rid of. However, if you get involved with the climbing plant, you can enjoy it all year round. The evergreen and vigorously growing plant is extremely robust, easy to care for and undemanding in terms of location. And what many do not know: In late summer, ivy forms small umbels of flowers, which are a real treat for bees. In addition, it suppresses unwanted wild growth quickly, effectively and reliably.
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