Reminder: The NAPLES DAILY NEWS is now behind a paywall. Here's my current column; link to download a PDF after the jump.
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘groundcover’? A low, spreading, inexpensive plant covering a large area, right? Well, maybe. Consider this example: imagine a large planting area with a single species of plant: Crinum Lily, perhaps. Properly spaced, mature plants will fill the entire bed, forming a monoculture. Is thisa groundcover?
It is, isn't it? Another example: consider the sloping embankment to an overpass planted with Seagrape, a woody plant that becomes quite large. Still, in that application Seagrape is a workable choice. If the designer chooses plants based solely on height, he would not have considered an entire group of shrubs.
Confused? Don’t be. The term ‘groundcover’ describes a design requirement, not a group of plants. Sometimes, the correct plant is something quite surprising.
These exceptions aside, we usually think of groundcovers as plants that are low, perhaps less than twenty-four inches; plants that will spread without additional planting; and plants that form a tight monoculture resistant to sprouting seeds. This week, let’s take a look at some very useful plants from the world of groundcovers.