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This is a short-growing aster has creeping rootstocks and pink, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers. It can be used on steep slopes for erosion control.
Oriental bittersweet is a vigorous, woody, deciduous climber with rounded mid-green leaves that turn yellow in autumn. It bears small green flowers in summer and axillary clusters of bead-like red berries with contrasting yellow casings in the fall. Fruit splits open to reveal pink to red seeds.
Lily of the valley's bell-shaped, sweetly scented flowers bloom in early spring. It likes partial to full shade and is perfect for a woodland garden. It may not be the best choice for your beds and borders because it tends to spread, but it is a perfect ground cover if you have a large shady spot under some trees.
Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' is a stunning, wide-spreading ground cover with grassy, blue-green foliage and pink flowers. Use it to edge a bed or grow it in your rock garden for a splash of cool color. To keep its blooms going, be sure to deadhead.
‘Halycon’ is a wonderful blue hosta that holds its strong leaf color all season. Its textured, blue-green leaves are thick enough to be slug resistant. Bell-shaped, pale lilac flowers are followed by seed heads that attract birds late in the season. 'Halcyon' grows fairly slowly. It can be used as either a ground cover or a specimen plant. -Jane Hutson, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue# 127
This species produces 2- to 5-foot-tall mounds of narrow green foliage and bottle brush-like silvery-pink to purple flowers, both of which mature to shades of brown. It is the parent of numerous cultivars with notable flowers that range from purple to gray/black. It and some of its cultivars self-sow plentifully in warm climates. It is marginally hardy in Zone 5.
This vigorous, but noninvasive perennial flowers from early summer into autumn with bright red, purple, or white blossoms. The narrow blossoms are up to 4 inches long, and are held on long stalks above pointed, slightly puckered leaves. It grows to 4 feet high and wide.
This vigorous but noninvasive perennial flowers from early summer into autumn with crimson blossoms to 6 inches long. Its leaves are dark green, arrow-shaped, and slightly puckered. It grows to 4 feet high and wide.
This vigorous shrub hugs the ground (to 2 feet tall) and spreads out to 8 feet, making it an excellent choice for stablizing a bank or smothering weeds. It has small yellow flowers, hairy red fruits, and glossy leaves that change to gorgeous orange-red in autumn.
This showy rose produces a pastel cloud of small pink flowers with lighter centers. The blossoms are single and shallow-cupped; they occur in large, loose clusters. Blooms hold up better in partial shade. This rose grows from 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, blooming from spring to autumn.
This sweetly scented, rambling rose has glossy leaves and produces large groups of semi-double, creamy-white, 2-inch-wide blossoms in summer. It grows to 30 feet high.
This fragrant rose produces generous clusters of double apricot flowers that fade to a soft yellow. It usually grows to 5 feet and taller when trained, making it an ideal candidate for screening or growing up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This dwarf rose grows to only 18 inches tall, and covers itself all season long with large clusters of lightly scented vibrant pink flowers.
This old-fashioned looking rose has a bicolor look with its clustered coral buds and pink double flowers with copper centers. It forms an arching shrub, reaching 5 feet high and wide, and blooms from spring to autumn, with its largest flush in the spring.
This climber produces an endless display of fragrant apricot-yellow blossoms. It grows to about 12 feet high and makes the perfect vertical accent in the garden.
This fragrant rose produces semi-double, medium-pink flowers occuring in large clusters. It grows 5 feet tall and up to 8 feet wide, making it ideal for training up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This profuse bloomer produces enormous sprays of small, single pink blooms with white centers and dark reddish-pink edges. While it lacks fragrance, it is disease free, and if left alone, produces orange hips. It grows 5 feet tall and up to 8 feet wide, making it ideal for training up a wall, arch, or trellis. It blooms from spring to autumn.
This rose produces musky and sweet-scented blossoms of pale to medium pink, which bloom continuously from spring until frost. They are followed by large orange hips. 'Old Blush' grows to about 4 feet high and wide.
This rose produces a profusion of rosette-shaped ivory blossoms in large clusters. It forms a densely arching shrub, reaching 8 feet high and 4 feet wide and blooming from spring to autumn. It is ideal as a low climber up a wall, arch, or trellis.
This David Austin rose produces vibrant, semi-double red blossoms with contrasting yellow stamens all season long. It grows from 2.5 to 5 feet tall.
Q&A Ground covers to avoid
by Nancy Ondra
Planting Ground Covers
Proper spacing and regular care are the best ways to create a lush, weed-free carpet
by Mary Hirshfeld
Flowering Ground Covers
To blanket an area small or large, these are the perennials to pick
by Nancy Ondra
Dividing a ground cover
by Liana Mackey
Plants for Pathways
These durable creeping perennials discourage weeds and soften the look of a walkway
by Marty Wingate
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