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Growing plants for ground cover is an effective way of covering any bare spots as well as having the practical use of suppressing weeds. Generally low maintenance, these top plants for ground cover will suit a spot in the sun in your garden.

1. Helianthemum (rock rose) ‘Henfield Brilliant’

First is an evergreen pick with beautiful grey-green foliage all year round. In spring and summer, the foliage is joined by papery orange flowers that will add some cheer to the sunny spot.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows up to 50cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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2. Calluna vulgaris (heather) ‘Allegro’

Low growing ‘Allegro’ has fantastic flowers through summer and autumn in deep red and pink shades. The blooms are popular with bees, and will thrive in a sunny spot. They do prefer acidic soil, so ensure your garden soil is suitable if you are growing in the ground.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 50cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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3. Juniperus squamata (flaky juniper) ‘Blue Star’

Next is another evergreen, with dense growth of bright blue-grey foliage that has a striking impact.

Well-suited to many garden styles, they will look great in rock gardens and coastal spaces as well as cottage and city gardens.

  • Evergreen foliage
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 50cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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4. Osteospermum ecklonis (deep purple African daisy)

The white flowers that bloom in summer have a purple underside, giving them plenty of depth when they flower above the aromatic grey-green foliage. They are hardy in coastal and mild parts of the UK, and should be protected from winds and frost by overwintering.

  • Evergreen foliage and flowers in summer
  • Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK
  • Grows up to 1m tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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5. Astrantia major (masterwort) ‘Rosa Lee’

The next plant is a deciduous clump-forming perennial that has striking flowers in summer. The pink flowers are surrounded by silvery-pink flowers that have a delicate and enchanting air about them. Another popular pick for pollinators in wildlife gardens, they are great at attracting bees to other garden styles.

  • Deciduous foliage and flowers in summer
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 1m tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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6. Delosperma cooperi (Cooper’s ice plant)

Native to Africa, this plant is an evergreen succulent that has light green leaves that are cylindrical in shape. They will grow best in well-drained sandy soil, due to their succulent foliage. When planted in a South-facing spot, their purple daisy-like flowers will grace your garden.

  • Flowers in summer
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows up to 10cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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7. Aurinia saxatilis (gold basket)

Growing up to 20cm tall, this low growing evergreen has green-grey leaves that are joined by cheery yellow flowers in spring and summer. Growing best in a well-drained soil, gold basket will look great in rock and gravel gardens, as well ground cover in sun on banks and slopes.

  • Evergreen foliage and flowers in spring
  • Hardy
  • Grows up to 20cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed
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8. Euonymus fortunei (spindle) ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’

Next is a dwarf evergreen shrub with spreading habit that has beautiful, variegated leaves that bring depth to the plant. It’s climbing habit means it can be used as ground cover but also trained up a wall or fence as screening.

  • Evergreen foliage
  • Hardy
  • Grows up to 1m tall
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained soil
  • Full sun, partial shade, or full shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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9. Phlox subulata (creeping phlox)

The vibrant purple flowers of this creeping evergreen perennial are perfect for banks, slopes, edging and ground cover. In spring, the flat flowers bring fragrance at a low height as they grow up to 15cm but spread vigorously to 60cm wide.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 15cm tall
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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10. Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ear) ‘Silver Carpet’

Last is the vigorously growing evergreen that forms a carpet of grey-white leaves with a soft texture. It’s a stunning addition to a garden as ground cover as it is drought tolerant and is great at supressing weeds for most of the year.

  • Deciduous foliage
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows up to 20cm tall
  • Well-drained
  • Full sun
  • Exposed or sheltered
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For that bare spot in the sun, give ground cover a go to fill the space with fantastic foliage and flowers.

Spring is here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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