ground cover plants

Jacek Zwoliński
Mon, 16 Apr 2012 12:47:59 PDT
Obviously, ground cover depends on climate. And the type of bulbs. As I definitely live in completely different climate than California, my observations may not be appropriate.

As I grow mainly spring bulbs that do not need summer drought, I need a ground cover with following features:
1. No winter presence (ie geophytes) to avoid any competition with bulbs
2. Late spring growth - as above
3. Low, but upright growth - to allow growth through dying bulbs leaves in June and cover them completely (I am lazy and I do not want to remove dead leaves)
4. Resistance to rot - as dying bulbs leaves do invite botrytis in my relatively wet climate
5. Some summer interest.

So far I have selected a few winners:
1. Campanula carpathica (and possibly other deciduous campanulas) - for wetter locations
2. Geranium sanguineum
3. Ceratostigma plumbangoides (may additionally serve as a support for tippy autumn blooming crocuses)

I am working on Oxalis depressa, but it seems to be too shy in my climate. I also think Hypericum calycinum might be a good choice. In my climate it dies to the ground level in winter, but in warmer areas it may be shaved away in late autumn.

There are many more choices, though. Deciduous shrubs are OK, Hibiscus moscheutos as well. Clematis Integrifolia group (Arabella, for instance - 

Jacek, Poland (Central Europe), winter zone 6A.

Dnia 15-04-2012 o godz. 22:20 contact napisał(a):
> Hello all,
> The subject interests me a lot. Two years ago I created a new garden  just
> to  test out which  ground covers  suit méditerranean bulbs.    The choice
> was made keeping in mind the follwing constraints.
> Not higher than 10-15cm (4-6"),  no need to water during the summer, if
> possible summer flowering, not too dense to allow  bulb leaves to pass
> through, decorative value during the summer..
> The following species  proved to be  competible with mediterrean bulbs:
> Achillea coarctata (with Crocus in a lawn),Artemisia lanata,  Centaurea
> bella,
> Aster ericoides Prostrate form(winter dormant), Delosperma aberdeenense 
> nain
> rampant, Phyla nodiflora (can be invasive" and must trempled on), Phlox
> subulata,Teucrium ackermanii (partly frozen this winter),Thymus ciliatus
> (now in full flower),Thymus hirsutus,
> The following bulb species were planted in the ground cover: Crocus,
> Sparaxis, Narcissus, Scilla , Moraeas, Zeophyranthes candida,  Anemone,
> Allium. But two years is  too short to make long term conclusions.
> Bulbs which need high temperatures during the summer can be mulched with
> gravel, But I can think of very few  which  should be planted very shallow
> in order to  benefit of high summer temperatures (Agapanthus, Amaryllis
> belladonna ??) Anyway  here is somefood for thought.
> Kind greetings
> Lauw de Jager
> South of France
> -----Original Message-----Among the many wise things he had to say was
> advice NOT to plant ground covers over Mediterranean bulbs, as they kept 
> the
> soil cool and interfered with the bulbs' summer ripening
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