groundcover for shade and dogs?

Discussion in 'Groundcovers' started by erin_juniper, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. erin_juniper

    erin_juniper Active Member

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    Any suggestions for a small backyard that doesn't have very good drainage (sod just dies) and midday sun but mostly shade? Also, the dogs...
     
  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  3. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    How "smooth" do you want it? If you are happy with a 6" growth height, what about Gaultheria procumbens also called "wintergreen" or "tea-berry" -- it has lots of common names, and seems to be common in nurseries in the groundcover sections. Fairly large-ish crispy leaves. Reading from a website: "Evergreen with white bell like flowers in autumn and big, bright red berries through winter. Useful winter colour. Tolerates neglect, likes shade or part shade. Prefers moist peaty soil or dig in plenty of compost when planting. Ht 25cm [mine has never grown that tall], spread 30 cm in 5 years"... It seems to need shade and moisture, I am not sure how it easily it spreads or develops, someone else more familiar with BC coastal gardening would know. Then there are the kinnickinnicks, some are small and low-growing. Neither of these forms a quick, tight cover as far as I know, though -- we find "blue star creeeper" [another common item in plant nurseries] took hold very fast on our patio and wanted to take over, nice it is, about 3" high, sort of like a Baby's Breath with tiny blooms in summer, soft and thick, can be quite invasive under the soil, but vigorous, more so than the previously mentioned. None of these would resemble any kind of grass, they would be more informal and woodland-ish. I think they would be damaged but not terminally by dog-traffic, most things are... the tiny thymes and other really tiny grass-substitute groundcovers go black for me when cat urine touches them, so I only let my housebound pet cat onto the patio under supervision. I am continuing to try to think of something else...
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I also am inclined to think that it sounds like the situation is unsuitable for planting and that wood chips or other alternative covering should be employed.
     
  5. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Or, as the first respondent said, a geometric structure to the yard with several raised beds, those beds, framed in cedar, could hold a square or other geometric shape/shapes of a sturdy groundcover for appearances' sake, but around them the woodchip walking path... excellent idea, I was thinking about it afterwards. The raised bed could hold low shrubbery-type conifer plantings, for that matter, to discourage the dogs from getting into them...
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If these dogs are of any size no plantings will endure where they decide to romp, flop or dig repeatedly. If the plants are to be segregated in beds fencing may do the trick.
     
  7. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have to say all mine (4) very large dogs are very respectful of the half acre garden. They seem to be able to just be apart of it with out wrecking it. The worst that happens is a large set of hollows under the corner of the verandah and the occasional nosed (not dug) hollow under a bush for a bone. But I have found livestock guardians (eg. Pyrenen Mt dog , Maremma etc.) very clean and descreate unlike other varieties of dogs I have seen and had.
     

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