Garden Photo of the Day

Jenny covers ground!

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

I seem to remember someone warning me years ago that if I planted golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8) in the ground, I’d never get rid of it. I ignored them and did so, but it’s never really taken off in my garden. Every year I notice a sprig or two come up, and I try popping some of it out of the ground and putting it in a container, but I still end up having to buy more. After seeing it as a groundcover in this garden, I’m kind of sad I can’t seem to succeed with it. Here, it scambles along playfully, softening the edge of a walkway and ambling into a water feature for a drink. It seems to discourage the weeds and adds a cheery golden carpet at the feet of its neighbors. I didn’t get a chance to meet the owner of this garden to ask if Jenny is a curse as well as a blessing…

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  1. KariLonning 10/05/2010

    I have a friend here in Ridgefield where the Creeping Jenny is taking over (beautifully). But, I too, keep buying and dividing it in hopes that it'll look like this.

  2. ncgardener 10/05/2010

    I too am a "Jennyite" and I am in my second year of attempting to spread it throughout my garden. It is a beautiful ground cover that gives a pop of color. I keep dividing my mounds of Creeping Jenny hoping that it will someday look like those in the photo.

  3. Deanneart 10/05/2010

    Makes a pretty frame for the plantings in this garden. Nice! I've got a patch of it growing in bark mulch that escaped from a container garden several years ago.

  4. Vespasia 10/05/2010

    It's a lovely effect, really softens the edges of the path etc and makes a beautifully welcoming entry. I don't have any in my garden but having seen these photos I plan to add some next spring, I have just the spot.

  5. LethaB 10/05/2010

    I have creeping Jenny in my yard.I don't understand why some people can't get it to grow.It is one of the easiest things to start anywhere.Ionly have a small patch growing right now,but now that I've seen these pics,I'm definitly going to start putting it everywhere I can.Thanks...

  6. arboretum 10/05/2010

    michelle, i am a firm believer that some 'easy as pie' plants are not 'easy as pie' for some people, whether the reason be PH or drainage or karma.....For yrs i felt guilty when people would talk about how echinacea and platycodon or.... seeded itself everywhere for them, while mine never did.

    as to cr.jenny, we CAN grow this and we use it primarily to cover and (somewhat) anchor the sides of our sunken paths, where it covers the steep grade, even in shade, quickly.the only plant that can compete with it in those ways is veronica repens Georgia Blue. hmmm, the yellow foliage of cr. jenny next to the periwinkle blue of georgia blue- now, THAT'S an idea....!

    i had NO idea cr.jenny could handle the hot hot reflected heat of a sidewalk, which is where i would put mediterranean heat loving plants like sedum and lavender. how very surprising!


  7. sheilaschultz 10/05/2010

    I'm a 'jenny-junkie' and I admit it with a smile. I use jenny in containers, in my shade gardens and in my sun gardens. I love when it merges with other plants, especially in the shade...the yellow makes all the subtle colors explode.

  8. DreamGardener 10/05/2010

    CT gardeners should be made aware that Lysimachia nummularia is on the Invasive Species list ( As is usually the case, the various cultivars have not all been evaluated for their seed-production tendencies, so I don't know about 'Aurea', but as responsible gardeners, it's incumbent upon us to take into account the invasive tendencies of the parent species before we decide to add a new plant to the garden.
    That said, I think this stuff is BEAUTIFUL! It planted itself in spots in my lawn (!) where I couldn't get Anything to grow, and, well, there it remains! I'm a sucker for such Perkiness!

  9. LaFlor 10/06/2010

    I love my "Creeping Jenny"! I have shared it with my daughter and it has slowly crept from the shade into the sun. WOW what a difference in color from the sun to the shade. She hopes it keeps right on creeping in to her lawn area so she won't have to mow! I have not used in my containers, but after after reading the comments I will be trying this next spring. I can hardly wait for next spring.!

  10. Callawayii 10/06/2010

    Is this creeping jenny the same as baby tears?

  11. GrnThum 10/15/2010

    Down here in North Carolina, Creeping Jenny does beautifully and my front entrance doesn't look much different from this one. Yes, you do need to do a little "unplanting" two or three times a year, but it's an easy job to accomplish. If you find you have too much of a good thing, just tear it out and let it refresh itself on its own. In my garden, I can simply place it on the ground and get it to root, so if you're truly "done with it", be sure to dispose of it properly. I simply love the stuff.

  12. abcornwell 10/18/2010

    Charlotte, NC here ... Creeping Jenny happily carpets my front perennial beds and I will try it in our sunny side yard as well. I let Variegated Bishop's Weed and Creeping Jenny duke it out in a north facing bed - so far they are both doing well and I like the variety. I tear up clumps of Jenny when it gets too dense and just drop them onto other areas, plop a little compost on them, and before you know it the Jenny has taken off.

  13. Annya 10/18/2010

    It looks fabulous, but does anyone know if it will grow in a mediterranean climat? As in Italy, above the Med about 1,000 ft? It would look fabulous beneath my lemon trees! Any ideas?

  14. friscogirl 10/18/2010

    I just spent two weekends tearing OUT the creeping Jenny. Yes, it's lovely, but incredibly invasive in my Maryland garden. It forms a dense mat a few inches thick that gets really untidy. Maybe it spreads so well in my garden because it is incredibly happy...but, bah! I'm always trimming it from around paving stones and keeping it from my neighbor's grass.

    I love the yellow, but this plant is too much maintenance.

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