sun loving ground cover

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by anon125, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. anon125

    anon125 Active Member

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    For years we have used creeping mazas? Dunno if that is spelled right.
    In the shade they do fine but the sun just burns them up nowadays.
    What are better suggestions
    Thanks
    From parksville
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  2. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    You may have noticed that, in Parksville and adjacent areas, the go-to groundcovers are periwinkle (Vinca minor) and St. John's Wort (Hypericum calycinum) probably because both can handle dry soil. Periwinkle prefers shadier conditions than St. JW. Unfortunately, Vinca minor is on the BC Invasive Plant list and Hypericum calycinum probably should be. It's relative, Hypericum perforatum, is. I mention these only to recommend you not choose them.

    A favourite native groundcover you might consider is Bearberry or Kinnikinnik* (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) which can sometimes be seen growing in mats naturally on banks next to highways in hot, dry conditions, looking fresh and beautiful all the while. There are some cultivars that are considered to be improvements on the original such as Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Vancouver Jade' developed at UBC a number of years ago. For a good description of Bearberry (Kinnikinnik), see: Kinnikinnick, Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Pacific northwest native shrub

    You don't say how large an area you want to cover; I could give you more suggestions depending on how large the site is.

    *For trivia nuts, 'kinnikinnik' is considered the longest palendrome in the English language unless spelled 'kinnikinnick' that is.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  3. pmurphy

    pmurphy Active Member

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    I have several terraced areas in front of my house that get full sun all day and in trying to find something that would "fill in the gaps" discovered that Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) will grow quite nicely. I will admit it does grow thicker - and faster so you have to keep it controlled - where it might get a bit of shade on and off through the day but in one area on the top tier of the terrace there is no shade at all and it grows without issue as long as its watered.
     
  4. anon125

    anon125 Active Member

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    Thanks very much for your help. it is a 100 sq feet approx area with gravel or driveway around it so spreading should not be a problem.
    the Thyme we tried spreads even into the gravel on landscape fabric!
    thanks!
     
  5. Tyler W

    Tyler W New Member

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    If you want native groundcover, just like Margot pointed out Kinnikinnick is the best option once it's established. 2 other options could be Genista pilosa ‘Vancouver Gold’, or Pachysandra terminalis. I work with both of these in full sun/full heat scenarios and they also do well once established. The Pachysandra could be a tad invasive in my opinion though. Keep it away from greenbelts!
     
  6. anon125

    anon125 Active Member

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    Thanks Tyler
     
  7. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Good ideas already here - I would absolutely never plant ivy - and I’d hesitate on periwinkle tho maybe ok if the vinca minor (not the major)

    And for sure no yellow buttercup - St. John’s wort - Latin name above by Margot in Lantzville - it’s ugly in most seasons (dry leaf look) and spreads invasively - it was the thing to do for so-called low maintenance in the 70’s (with junipers and mugo pines and creosote RR ties - makes me cringe!)

    I am unclear in your March 9th post - is the creeping thyme a problem or do you like it ... I’d say it’s year-round attractive and easy to manage —

    And if starting over - the kinnikinnik is a good option I think esp because low water use once established

    You could even get some nice design height interest by mixing in a swath of some native salal also avail at good plant store - don’t go digging it up in forest

    You will have to purchase a significant number of plants of Kinnik to get the somewhat rapid grow-in that most of us look for (versus waiting 10 yrs!)

    RE the Vancouver Gold “broom” be absolutely certain it’s the non invasive broom and no pollen (do you have allergies?) I think the real version of Vanc gold broom was fr UBC many yrs ago - maybe 20 yrs?
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    Your mention of Genista pilosa 'Vancouver Gold' reminded me of the plant introduction program at the UBC Botanical Gardens in the 1980s. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Vancouver Jade' and Rubus calycinoides 'Emerald Carpet' also originated there. I would like to read more about the program but can't find much online . I remember Wilf Nicholl was involved. What I did find was on this forum.

    If anyone can tell me where to read more about the UBC Botanical Garden plant introduction program, please let me know.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2019
  9. anon125

    anon125 Active Member

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    thanks all
    thyme is very slow growing. but does tolerate the sun.
    needs grooming so it does not go 'woody'
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    I agree that thyme is a very good choice for a sunny location. The 3 types I grow are beautiful, tough and do not get woody. Slow-growing however.

    Thymus praecox
    ‘Purple Carpet’
    Thymus pseudolanuginosis grandiflora (Wooly thyme)
    Thymus serpyllum 'Elfin'
     
  11. Tyler W

    Tyler W New Member

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    I was the one who originally mentioned it. That being pointed out I don't work with the "invasive one" or the "fake one". Quite easy to tell when you have the real thing. It would work great for the exact scenario the poster explained. I like it too because it looks good in all weather, Thyme on the other hand can look dreadful after the constant wet weather.
     
  12. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Further to Margot post about introductions or patents held by UBC ... isn’t there an evergreen huckleberry called Thunderbird (for obvious ubc reasons !)

    What else ... clearly a separate thread
     
  13. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    See this thread for info on UBC Botanical Garden's Plant Introduction Scheme.
     
    wcutler and Margot like this.
  14. Margot

    Margot Active Member

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    Thank you very much - just what I was looking for!
     

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