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  • Waterwise Gardening | David Salman

Let's Cover some Ground


Perennial groundcovers are an indispensable part of any well designed garden providing colorful flowers and attractive foliage. These low growing ground cover plants are great filling spaces between flagstone or for creating a “living mulch” that cools the ground and suppresses weed growth. Discover great groundcover plants for New Mexico gardens.

Verbena peruviana 'Red Devil' is a perennial verbena that grows as a groundcover and blooms all summer with a dazzling display of brilliant red flowers. Native to Argentina, keep this little beauty watered regularly to encourage flowering. Cold hardy to zone 6 once established. Use as a hanging basket plant or in a container garden in colder climates. 3" tall x 15-18" wide.

Veronica oltensis

Veronica oltensisis without a doubt, one of our favorite plants with so many different uses in the landscape. At home in the rock garden, between flagstones in the patio or as a slow-growing but long-lived ground cover in the xeric garden, this little plant always looks good. The tiny dark green leaves disguise it, looking like another creeping thyme; but when it comes into bloom, the hundreds of small azure blue flowers remind you that it's something very different and special. A tough plant with evergreen foliage, it is native to the high altitudes in the rugged mountains of Turkey. Nice planted with Hymenoxys scaposa. 1" tall x 24" wide.

Galium odoratum, commonly called sweet woodruff, is a mat-forming perennial that is most often grown as a ground cover in shady areas. Plants typically grow and feature fragrant, lance-shaped, dark green leaves in whorls of 6-8 along square stems. Small, fragrant, 4-petaled, white flowers appear in loose cymes in spring. Aromatic intensity of the foliage increases when dried, thus dried leaves are popularly used in sachets or potpourris commercially in perfumes. 8-12" tall.

Monardella macrantha 'Marion Sampson' is a dazzling selection of this California native wildflower species. 'Marian Sampson' (commonly known as Scarlet Monardella) has clusters of brilliant red, tubular flowers held over low mats of dark green, shiny leaves. Blooming in late spring it is certain to attract hummingbirds. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant. 3-4" tall x 6-8" wide.

Pterocephalus depressus is a distinctive looking groundcover and a marvelous species closely related to Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower). It grows as a mat of attractive gray-green crinkled leaves and blooms from late spring through summer with large mauve-pink flowers followed by furry, silvery-pink seed heads. The dense, evergreen foliage tolerates light foot traffic and is a wonderful choice as crack filler in flagstone and pavers. Native to the mountains of Morocco. Introduced to the trade by Laporte Ave. Nursery. Low fertility, well-drained soil. 2" tall x 15-18" wide.

Teucrium aroanum, commonly called germander, is native to Greece. It is a low-growing, stoloniferous, woody, evergreen subshrub grown primarily as a ground cover. Evergreen, ovate to oblong, silvery green leaves (to 3/4" long). Whorls of 2-lipped, 3/4" long, light purple flowers (typical mint family) appear in axillary clusters in late spring to early summer. Synonymous with Teucrium aroanum. 4-8” wide x 3” tall.

Ajuga Chocolate Chiphas unusually narrow foliage is dark green, overlaid with chocolate-brown in during the cooler months and forming a very low mound. Short spikes of showy blue flowers appear in late spring. This is useful as a groundcover or edging plant. Nice in containers and tubs. This is a great plant for those with shady areas in their landscape.

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