All ground covers look like a good idea in the beginning.  Like this Creeping Jenny–they have pretty leaves, They’re evergreen and always described with those seductive words, easy to grow. 

And maybe if you have a red clay bank that’s eroding away, a ground cover is a good idea.  But that’s a big MAYBE.

Because in all the years I’ve gardened here in Wake County (NC)  not one ground cover has ever worked out for me.   Not one.

In fact, all my ground cover experiments have  turned on me like ungrateful children– racing  for the sun, smothering perennial beds, leaping fences into my neighbor’s woods and flinging themselves about the lawn.

Don’t plant it.  I wish someone had told me that  a long time ago,  and I wish had been smart enough to listen. 

 Fortunately, winter is a great time to fix those trial and error garden lessons.

A cart load of Creeping Jenny for the town to pick up...

Case in point:  The Creeping Jenny I just eradicated from a bed of rain lilies and irises.  I did this by digging up the whole bed, sorting the good plants from the bad and carrying the ground cover to the street.  

Do not compost ground covers.  They are the living dead of the plant world and will claw their way back into your garden. 

Rain lilies saved from a rampant ground cover--

Yes, it can  grueling to correct your mistakes, but that’s the way most of us learn to garden.  

Even our dog,Tralee found this job exhausting

 Anyone else with garden regrets to share (and make me feel better about mine)?

Advertisements