Attractive and useful ground cover for hill suggestions?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by hisenthlay, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    I currently have a small but steep (45 degree) hillside area mostly covered in ivy. Part of the hill area is in part shade, and part is in full sun. The ivy's not in the best shape, and it's constantly being overrun with weeds, especially creeping buttercup. I'd like to replace it with something useful/productive, like for the kitchen or crafts or whatever. But it's right in front of our house, so I'd also like it to be something that looks ok all year, like ivy (theoretically).

    One thing I'm considering is sweet woodruff, because I hear it has a wonderful sweet hay smell when dried and brought inside for potpourri, etc. We also just got some perilla plants which might work, but I'm afraid the slope would be too much for them.

    Thanks for any ideas you might have.
     
  2. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I love using thyme as a ground cover. It's low growing, fast growing, and you can eat it. The flowers are so pretty, too.
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try thinking about Clovers.
     
  4. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Thanks! Thyme is a good idea, and I love the sound of "fast growing" :)
    I like clover a lot--it grows as a weed in some parts of my yard, and I leave most of it. But, I'm not sure my neighbors would think it was a good landscaping solution. I need more land and less neighbors!
     
  5. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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  6. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    How about strawberrys?
     
  7. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Oregano spreads pretty well,and survives snow here.At least mine does.

    BooBoo
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Mints grow like weeds here,but might overrun neighbors.

    BooBoo
     
  9. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Oooh, thanks for all the good ideas. If I weren't so new to gardening, maybe I'd have known that some thyme and oregano varieties are evergreens--and that sweet woodruff and perilla aren't :shrug: . Are there some strawberries or mints that are also evergreens? I have thyme, strawberries, and tons of mint already, so it would be great to be able to use some of those.

    The strawberry suggestion also led me to this website that also has some fun ideas: http://virginiaberryfarm.com/Fruit_berry_plants/groundcovers.htm.
    I saw some of that groundcover raspberry at a local nursery, but it was a bit pricey. I also just came across some info on creeping wintergreen, and that sounds good, too.

    I thought it would be hard to find anything for this sad little hill, but now I have some great choices to think about!
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    hairy vetch. holds soil well and has purple blossoms.
    birdsfoot trefoil. a legume that will reseed and has attractive small yellow blossoms almost reminiscint of miniature snapdragons.
    both those ground pasture plants grow to about 18" high
     
  11. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    moonwolf-

    do both of those die back to the ground in winter? I'm trying to avoid the barren look if possible.

    Also, I've noticed today online that a lot of the things I like are considered to be invasive, noxious weeds. This includes the vetches, sweet woodruff, perilla, even ivy. I don't want to be the person that introduces the new bane of the neighborhood. I'm sure that somebody at some point thought it was a good idea to introduce all the creeping buttercup, bittersweet nightshade, orange hawkweed, and common purslane I can't get rid of.

    Is this something you worry about when introducing new plants? This is the city, not some pristine prairie, but still.... At least I found out that purslane is edible--I haven't tried anything with it yet, though.
     
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Hairy Vetch may winterkill in our zone 4b, but generally it either comes back up in spring or comes back up from seed. Trefoil comes back and also from seed except when it's an exceptionally cold winter barren of snow.
    These plants aren't considered noxious weeds in this region, but perhaps may be in yours...especially the hairy vetch. Having said that, you can buy seed of both from farm supply stores to plant for pasture.