Often, when people landscape a property, the first thing they think about is putting together an impressive display of specimens. They spend a lot of time ruminating about what oak, maple, or exotic evergreen to get, where to put it and how to draw attention to it.
Although good specimen plants are important, in many ways the huge expanse of low plants in your yard make a bigger effect than the few large ones. Consider the ground cover plants you use carefully, and you will end up with a yard to be proud of.
In my opinion, green grass is overrated as a ground cover plant. Don’t get me wrong, grass has its uses; it is durable, goes well with everything and resists weeds reasonably well in most climates.
It makes more sense to take a little bit of a risk with some unusual ground cover plants than to play it safe with grass and have a yard that looks just like everyone else’s.
Personally, I really like low vines for ground cover. English ivy, Boston ivy and other hearty, Evergreen vines create a carpet every bit as lush as grass, but with an unusual twist.
In many cases, these ground cover plants are actually hardier than grass and they will often stay green all through the winter.
If you want to play with another color, try blue rug juniper. This hardy ground cover plant can cover your whole lawn with a soft looking blue coat.
One advantage it has over grass is that it holds well to slopes and requires very little care. If your yard is on a considerable grade, this is one of the best ground cover plants you could hope for.
If you want something a little bit showier, consider installing ground cover shrubs. Shrubs like acacia or creeping rosemary will cover your lawn with thin green leaves, woody growths and attractive flowers.
They are also a good solution for areas you want to keep people or animals out of. Conversely, however, these are not good plants to grow if you want folks to be able to walk in your yard.
For a low, delicate alternative to grass, try growing clover. Clover forms a soft, attractive and even ground cover, spreading to fill any available area with a mild, green carpet. It does not grow tall, however, never needs to be mowed like grass and tolerates a fair amount of foot traffic.