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Northwest Regional Reports

Ground Covers for Part Shade

Banish your bare soil with this selection of spreaders

'Alba' creeping navelwort. Photo: Jason Jorgensen

How often do you see beautiful trees and shrubs swimming in a sea of mulch and think something is wrong? Many gardeners often forget their ground-cover layer. Landscapes are complete and look better when an abundance of ground covers are planted underneath trees and groupings of shrubs. Bare soil planted with ground covers will help retain moisture and prevent weeds, something we all desire. Here are a few of my favorite ground covers for part-shade areas. Typically, I plant the following ground covers as 4-inch plants spaced 6 to 8 inches on center in a grid pattern.

‘Alba’ creeping navelwort Photo: Jason Jorgensen

What a great way to spend time in your garden—navelwort gazing! ‘Alba’ creeping navelwort (Omphalodes verna ‘Alba’, Zones 5–9) creates a beautiful carpet of small, bright green leaves, a good fit for underneath small ornamental trees and shrubs.  After the leaves start to unfurl in spring, the green carpet…

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