Colourful Ground Covers

A colourful lawn alternative makes good sense for environmental reasons and also takes less time to maintain than a regular lawn.

Credit: Courtesy of Proven Winners

Although many people like the look of a billiard-table smooth lawn, a colourful lawn alternative makes good sense for environmental reasons. They also take less time to maintain than a regular lawn and, more importantly, are easily managed without chemical fertilizers that leach into groundwater and damage sensitive ecosystems.

Picture a carpet of silvery speedwell (Veronica liwanensis) abloom with azure flowers or a cushion of emerald green Irish moss (Sagina subulata). Both plants are evergreen, which make them ideal lawn substitutes. Like many other groundcovers, they tolerate some foot-traffic and require minimal upkeep. A little extra care like mowing the plants once they’ve bloomed and removing fallen leaves in autumn will encourage denser growth and allow the plants to breathe.

Irish Moss
Irish Moss

If you’re looking to grow something a little different, possibly on a hard-to-mow slope, dig up your lawn and replace it with these evergreen perennials:
• Creeping chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – aromatic; small white flowers bloom from July to October; good for hot, dry sites;

• Beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) – glossy green leaves with small white flowers and tiny edible berries; grows in full sun to partial shade;

• Creeping thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Albiflorus’, ‘Coccineus’ or ‘Purple Carpet’) – fragrant silvery leaves and flowers that range from white to pink to purple; attractive to butterflies.

Click here for more information about groundcovers.