Flowering ground cover

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Alisdair

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Flowering ground cover
« on: November 07, 2011, 08:34:04 AM »
To see a discussion of Bidens ferulifera click here. And Myoporum, one of the plants discussed in the lawn substitutes thread, has pretty white flowers in spring.
What other suggestions do forum members have for flowering perennial (non-shrubby) ground cover? One of my own favourites is Felicia amelloides, with its cheerful little blue flowers over a very long period.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2011, 08:42:50 AM by Alisdair »
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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Alisdair

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Re: Felicia amelloides
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 12:39:12 PM »
Here's a picture of Felicia amelloides in spring. To keep it flowering, it does need a little water - only a little, as it gets leggy and messy if watered too much. It stands weeks of drought, but did not survive the five months of hot drought in a southern Greek summer. If flowering tails off, cut it back and it will flower again in a very few weeks. It can take hard cutting back if needed. Easy to grow from cuttings.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Paul T.

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 12:54:36 PM »
Convulvulus are brilliant for summer flowers, perennial, and if you chose carefully, quite nicely sized.  Some of them can be a bit enthusiastic though, so choose carefully.  A favourite of mine is one called 'Two Moons' which has white flowers predominantly, but throws random blue or striped blue and white flowers.  Tough as old boots once established.  There's heaps of really good tough groundcovers around. 8)
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

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Alisdair

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 04:45:17 PM »
Thanks for that suggestion, Paul; and do let us have some more of those "heaps" of yours!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Paul T.

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 02:49:29 AM »
David,

I'm not sure exactly which species 'Two Moon's is derived from, but it woud be something closely related to sabiatus I would imagine.  There are some thugs amongst the Convolvulus unfortunately, so care need to be taken in choosing them for ones that aren't so thuggish.  I would avoid those which twine (the bindweed types) as they can smother things, but those allied to sabiatus, while stoloniferous, tend to stay pretty flat and make a great groundcover.  I can take some photos locally if you want to show you what they look like in full bloom?

Alisdair,

Some of my other "heaps" are....
numerous varieties of Grevillea.....'Bronze Rambler', 'Gaudi Chaudi', 'Royal Mantle' to name some of the older more established ones, but there are so excellent new varieties coming out bred by someone less than 50km from where I live.

Myoporum as mentioned previously here comes in a range of varieties.  Thick or thin leaves types, white, pink or pinkish flowers, and purple leaves or stems on some varieties.  The larger types end up looking like a huge rug that you just want to roll on.  ;D

There is a species of Verbena with red flowers that is a wonderful flat groundcover.  It isn't thick enough as a weed supressant, but it makes a lovely display, spreading metres on long flat stems.  It did better before I came to this garden and started better watering.... I think it liked it drier and less looked after.  ::)  There are other ground cover Verbena types as well, but I think they benefit from more summer water?  

Acacias have various species that now come in groundcover forms.  Extremely hardy drought-wise, they make a permanent cover whereever they are, some up to 3 or 4 metres across.  Some other Aussie genus with groundcover forms include Kunzea, Leptospermum and Hardenbergia.

Trachelospermum jasminoides can be used as a groundcover, I have seen it used as such, although usually something like 30 or 40cm deep, but T. asiaticum is the best for this.  It doesn't want to climb, but rather sperads out laterally.  It has creamy yellow flowers rather than the white of the former.

Some of the smaller pea species work well... think things like Lathyrus laxiflorus (from memory?).  I have seen it growing no more than 6 inches tall, spreading to about 1m across.

I'm really not sure exactly what scope this group has for summer watering, or whether the Mediterannean refers to stuff that will grow without extra summer water?  The ones mentioned above should do well with little in the way of summer watering I think?  The above are just off the top of my head, but I am sure I could come up with more or expand more on any of these if anyone is interested?  I've also been thinking of things that just grow here for me, so they take moderate frost.  I'm sure those in areas where they get colder in winter than me would have some problems with some of the things I mention.  There's a whole bunch more that would thrive in milder areas as well, and that others with milder winters than me could grow that I can't.

I hope some of this is useful?

« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 09:32:42 AM by Paul T. »
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

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Alisdair

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 07:26:43 AM »
That's a fascinating list, Paul, thanks very much!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 08:10:53 AM »
Indeed - thanks Paul.

Just to make a cross-reference re flowering groundcover:
...
Asteriscus maritimum - similarly, no butterflies, but it continues to flower in a modest way as it has been for months; it forms a useful firm and thin groundcover.
Lantana montevidensis - like L. camara, this continues to flower and spread, and is a good butterfly attractant (Papilio machaon and Chazara briseis especially). I find it more scented than L. camara, but less easy from cuttings.
Portulaca umbraticola - I was sold this as P. grandiflora, but I am fairly sure it is not. I selected this one for its gorgeous colour, but the others in the nursery were very tempting, too. In the evening its foliage tends to look like it is collapsing, but it is gradually spreading and otherwise seems healthy. It remains to be seen if it proves at all perennial here in Cyprus; if so, it could prove a useful groundcover; we'll see.

Click on the quote title to go to the topic itself, where there are photos.

Talking of L. montevidensis, I saw at a friend's garden another prostrate lantana, but with orange flowers. I know there is L. horrida, which is prostrate-ish, but the plant I saw seemed more prostrate than that. Maybe it is L. camara 'Radiation' (http://www.american-farms.com/text_plant_pages/lantana.htm).
There are some interesting cultivars on that page. For instance, I had not heard of a white L. montevidensis before, but they show one, 'White Trailing'.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 10:04:12 AM »
The white Lantana montevidensis spreads well but will climb up neighbouring plants if allowed - see the gaura being used as support below. The yellow version on the other hand grows in a fan shape, flowers less profusely and dies down in the winter. I think they both need to be pruned back each year at the end of winter.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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Alisdair

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 08:26:01 AM »
I have moved all the messages about Phyla (syn. Lippia) nodiflora to Grass and lawn substitutes, as in spite of its little (bee-attracting) flowers it is best thought of as that, rather than as a flowering plant.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Lantana montevidensis leaf colour
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 09:43:06 PM »
Michel - since you mention Lantana montevidensis here...
Mine has mostly dark purple leaves at the moment. Does yours?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 08:38:54 PM by Alisdair »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Lantana montevidensis leaf colour
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 10:14:36 PM »
No Mike, no dark purples leaves, just only some one with the edges little colored. I'd take a photo tomorow ... (I believe to remember that they were red this summer in full sun, but I'm not sure)
Michel GAUTIER
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My garden is a mediterranean garden located in South Est of France and you can visit it at this address : www.jardinsud.fr

Lantana montevidensis leaf colour
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2011, 07:46:13 PM »
There are two photos take this morning : the first shows a global view, the second, more close, shows the leaves. There is no leave red, only someone with a few of color on the edges... (sory for my translation this evening : I'm pressed for time !)
Michel GAUTIER
MGS Member
My garden is a mediterranean garden located in South Est of France and you can visit it at this address : www.jardinsud.fr

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MikeHardman

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 11:30:41 AM »
Thanks Michel.
Here are photos of mine. You'll see there is a range of colour from green (yellowish in some cases) to almost black. The greener leaves get a tiny bit more shade. All the leaves are quite small, but they all seem healthy, as do the stems and flowers.
Comments on the blackness appreciated.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 03:57:12 PM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2011, 10:44:01 PM »
About some plants, I noticed a trend to become red or red-brown in full sun and with a dry climate. By exemple, my Lantana montevidensis was red-brown this summer, but not so much your. I'm very surprised of the color of your lantana, almost black on some leaves. I think they are in full sun, ...but mine also ! I have not other explanation ...

It's the same phenomenon with Aloe saponaria. From late spring to begin automn, mine is red-brown. Recently, with the decrease of the sun and the rains of automn, it is become green in less of one month. It's very spectacular. It's a pity, but I have only a single photo that I made recently, with the leaves green, but not in the "form" red. You can imagine the same contrast between this two appearence, like you have in your lantana.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 10:45:54 PM by Michel GAUTIER »
Michel GAUTIER
MGS Member
My garden is a mediterranean garden located in South Est of France and you can visit it at this address : www.jardinsud.fr

ezeiza

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 01:08:23 AM »
So very interesting to read as practically everyting that appears in this great forum. First hand information. Both Lantana camara and L. montevidensis are natives to this part of the world and the only time you can see black foliage is when chilly nights hit it. Here at least black foliage is cold damaged foliage. The rest fo the year it is green to deepest green.