I really ENJOY seeing and using plants to solve a problem, or to play a role in design.
While garden plants have ornamental value, you can see directly in nature, that the ecosystem of different plant types like trees, shrubs, and ground covers play an important part of the whole.
In the garden, a ground cover plays a role, too. It can be to cover the earth, which helps to control weeds and erosion – or to act as a living mulch.
The 3 blue grey ground covers below (my favorite being the Santolina) all play a similar role in the landscape aesthetically, and that is that they all create a unified visual across the ground plane.
1. Blue Fescue
BLUE FESCUE – There are many varieties of blue fescue ground covers available; and using this plant in mass like this hillside ground cover, unifies, looks good and also provides erosion control. The main grass, Festuca cinerea, from the Mediterranean region of Europe, has been popular for a long time, with vast quantities used in borders and banks for its bright spots of blue color.
In general, blue fescues are rugged, clump forming grasses. They love full sun and well drained soil, with moderate to occasional summer water. Hardy to 0 degrees F. or less.
2. Lavender Cotton
LAVENDER COTTON – I love seeing low growing Santolina (Lavander Cotton) used as a ground cover; and was thrilled to stumble upon this usage. With a few trees companioned within, Santolina is working it’s casual charm across a decent chunk of space.
Using this plant singularly as a ground cover allows the scene to be simple, casual, charming and understated. There is nothing fussy, as you can see from the above photo. Santolina’s blue grey foliage, is beautiful in a hot summer garden where the matte blue-grey color psychologically cools. Also, along the foggy coast, this color lends a mystical relaxing and casual tone. As an established planting, this shrubby compact form does an excellent job covering ground and out competing weeds. To maintain: Prune annually in spring into old wood to keep form nice and compact. Sun, most soils, little or no watering when established. Hardy to 0 degrees F. or less. Flowers – yellow button shaped in summer.
SPURGE – Not sure what variety of Euphorbia (Spurge) this is, but, it looks like Euphorbia characias, which has leafy stems 2 – 5 feet high, from a woody base. The leaves are up to 4 inches long, narrow and usually colored an interesting blue or grey green.
This one is definitely blue. An additional benefit with the blue is the contrasting chartreuse to yellow flowers which form an interesting broad tower up to a foot long. Bloom time is late winter to spring. Note: One thing about this Euphorbia is that it can become leggy or sparse. Not necessarily going to have all of the individual plants in thriving condition. Hardy to 0 -10 degrees F.
It’s FREE and FUN and GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH!!!