The Disadvantages of Ground Cover Plants in a Garden

Ground cover is not all good news, however. There are some downsides, particularly if you have only a small garden, where space is a premium even though for large gardens the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages.

The first is that a large spread of the same plant can be rather boring. This may not trouble you if you are not over interested in plants as such but just want to keep your garden tidy. However, many gardeners feel that they would rather use their space for different plants, creating a more interesting scene.

The second disadvantage is that ground cover is not quite as efficient as it is often portrayed to be. Any perennial weeds left in the ground when it was prepared will certainly penetrate the cover, and any thinning of the cover will allow in light and aid the germination of weed seed.

So it is essential to prepare the soil thoroughly in the first place, removing all traces of weeds, and then to make certain that the plants are in the best of health and maintain their tight cover. Shearing them over from time to time helps to keep them dense.

The third problem is rubbish. So often ground cover areas are left to themselves, and they have a habit of catching any pieces of paper or other bits of rubbish that blow past. You just need to remember to check the plants every so often and remove any rubbish that has accumulated.

A perfect bank of Geranium macrorrhizum, one of the most useful of ground cover plants for creating an effectively impenetrable layer. Geranium macrorrhizum will grow in dry conditions in fairly dark shade, and yet it not only gives good leaf cover, but also provides attractive flowers.

Use plants such as Pratia to carpet and soften paving that is not walked on. Hostas always provide good ground cover, as long as the soil is not too dry. Use mix of the different varieties to inject more visual interest.