We appreciate native groundcovers because of their hardiness and the interest they bring to the garden. Native groundcovers help control weeds naturally by filling in bare spots of soil. Many natives also perform well in shade—something we have a lot of in the Pacific Northwest… and at PowellsWood, too!
Here are four native groundcovers that have been growing successfully at PowellsWood for years. All are shade-tolerant and relatively easy to maintain:
1. Gaultheria shallon (Salal): A taller groundcover that can grow 2-5 feet. Provides berries for birds and wildlife, and makes nice cut foliage for flower arrangements, too!
2. Oxalis oregana: A shorter groundcover, about 6 inches tall, with delicate foliage and tiny white flowers in spring. At PowellsWood, it looks beautiful and covers the area nicely, and suppresses the weeds. It’s not invasive, but can be difficult to remove, so be sure to plant it where you want it to remain. (Photo shows newly acquired oxalis plants still in their containers.)
3. Tolmiea: A great groundcover for large shady areas. We have Tolmiea growing in full shade under our cherry trees at PowellsWood. Makes a peaceful mass planting. It is very low-maintenance, and looks good in winter, too.
4. Vancouveria hexandra: Grows up to about 10 inches. Foliage looks similar to epimedium, but a bit more delicate, with the added bonus of small white flowers in spring.
Do you have a favorite native groundcover? We’d love to hear about it!This entry was posted on 09/20/2011 in Northwest Gardening Blog by PowellsWood