Yarrow: A Tough Groundcover Option

Fill in those rough garden patches with the beautiful yet practical yarrow

Credit: Flickr / entheos

The white flower heads of the yarrow plant

Get acquainted with this hardy and handy groundcover

People are always looking to cover open rough spots in the lawn and around the property. Our hardy native yarrow (Achillea millefolium) establishes quickly and binds the soil to provide a soft, scented carpet. In the wilds of Western Canada, white flat-topped flower heads rise to 75 cm (30 in.) tall from a mass of ferny leaves.

Buy yarrow plants from a local garden centre or grow them from rooted stem fragments planted in fall or early spring. Many colour varieties are easy to raise from seed, and you can mow the spreading yarrow patch along with the grass.

Michael LeGeyt

Yarrow leaves rubbed on the skin or burned in a campfire keep away mosquitoes. A poultice from steeped leaves helps heal sores and reduce muscle pain.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.