Shrubby ground covers

Discussion in 'Groundcovers' started by arby, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. arby

    arby Member

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    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC Canada
    Hi: I need to plant a large bank with a good looking evergreen low care ground cover. A shrub that will work in a hot, sunny area with minimum water although there is irrigation here). Under consideration are Junipers (altho' I have seen some with blights on them so wonder whether they are good for the PNW), Arctostaphylos (altho' sounds like some suited for here are disease prone as well...)
    So, any other suggestions? Thanks.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The second choice makes a handsome sheet on loose soils in hot sun. Doesn't like heavy soils. Based on personal observation only the blackening seems to be associated with shading and lingering dampness. Clearly a seral (pioneer) species, in local wild habitats bearberry is seen growing out over barren places like road cuts and bedrock outcroppings, with taller shrubs (and trees) coming along behind and shading it out later, after enough soil, litter (or whatever else permits their growth) has developed.

    Conifers (including junipers) are shadowy in aspect, rather than light-reflecting, so it is preferable to use mostly broad-leaved evergreens (such as bearberry) in plantings (where climate permits). A proportion of conifers is desirable, just not a majority of conifers - all the more so in this region because a given property may be full of or adjoined by native conifers. Sites with lots of Douglas fir can be particularly gloomy.
     
  3. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Beaverton, Oregon
    One plant that seems shrubby and a groundcover to me, is Salal.

    Simple, durable and slow growing.
     
  4. Ian61

    Ian61 Member

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    Location:
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    May also consider : Euonymus
    Cotoneaster dammeri
    Cotoneaster lacteus
    Cotoneaster salicifolia

    All are drought resistant and low (broad-leafed) growing evergreens.

    Ian
     
  5. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    What about the low-growing type of Ceonothus? Which produces lots of rather light-blue flowers in summer? There is something the name of which escapes me which has almost holly-like glossy evergreen leaves and blue flowers, either in the Ceonothus category or something else... seems to grow about 8 " -12" maybe or perhaps higher. Ron B will know the name of it. In all the plant nurseries on the west coast.
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    The name is: Ceanothus gloriosus, or Point Reyes Ceanothus. My Perennial Ground Covers by David S. MacKenzie says "Point Reyes Ceanothus is an excellent general cover for larger areas on flat or sloping surfaces.. in bloom, which occurs during spring, this plant is magnificent". I have spot-planted one or two, but don't find them particularly spreading, but then they are being encroached upon by vigourous Blue Star Creeper which really is a surprisingly aggressive little groundcover for such a low-growing dainty-looking plant which crowds out a lot of other things.
     
  7. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Me again. Also what about "evergreen azaleas" for at least part of this? Not sure if they need more shade than is available here... if there is irrigation, that should help. I have never planted any as I have only seen a few in nurseries and they are rather expensive, and I have to contend with deer and am not sure if they would be eaten by deer so haven't risked them. Aren't there silvery-blue conifer low-growing shrubs which would not be gloomy-looking? There are also various sedums, and more "perennial plant" type offerings -- I saw a groundcover on a bank recently which was perhaps a type of santolina, not sure, it was pale silvery grey, about 3" to 6" high, in sun, and very spread-out with no winter-kill so far. It wasn't a conifer, it was a "perennial" of some sort.
     

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