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Hi there.

I'm really enjoying my first real garden! I would appreciate a bit of advice though.

While everything seems to be ticking along nicely, I'd quite like to plant some evergreen ground cover to 'fill things in' a bit.

Something quite low growing that won't take over what I already have would be ideal.

I'd really appreciate any advice you could give.


Astro turf? 



Hi Ted. there will be lots of choices, but a few questions so that it makes it easier to offer suggestions. What sort of things are you already growing and are the beds/borders sunny or shady? Do you have a particular colour scheme in mind and do the plants need to be flowering as well or is that unimportant? What is your soil like - heavy clay, sandy ?

Also, if you can post a pic it will help too 


Sorry - you posted the pic while I was typing!


Yes, that's artificial grass as the garden is north facing, with little sun, and grows poorly. I love it, so there.

Thanks Fairygirl. There's a mix of spring and summer bulbs in and making progress.

Lots of tulips, crocus, hyasinth, iris, fritillaria, narcissus etc.
I'd love something that will grow pretty quick, but that's not imperative. Mostly, I'd like something that will flower for as long as possible but not harm my other perennials.

Many thanks


Hi Fairygirl,have you thought about hardy geraniums which seam to grow more or less anywhere and after a few years,just seperate them and you have more plants.They also come in so many varieties. 


 Try to contrast the colour, height and texture for an interesting display. Some evergreens have purple or wine-red leaves others are golden yellow. Many evergreens flower as well as keeping their leaves. Cyclamen will give you the best of both worlds but there are many others.

Hi Graham,

I've done a bit of looking around the net, these look ideal. As you said, there are quite a lot of varieties so I can choose a few colours rather than blanketing the lot.

My main concern though, is that of conserving what I already have for next year, are geraniums quite brutish, or do you think my bulbs will just push through next spring?




Also try Dwarf Evergreen Shrubs.They will only grow to a very manageable height and require very little pruning.

Skimmia japonica Rubella 
Vivid Red buds in winter make this compact bush (ht.90cm) ideal for winter colour. Clusters of white flowers are produced throughout April-May.

Euonymus Fortunei Emerald Gaiety 
A dwarf shrub which will cascade from a tub. Ht.45cm. Large silvery edged leaves.

Euonymus Blonde Beauty 
A foliage plant where the leaves are a lovely creamy white with irregular markings, often on edges of leaves of dark green. Ht.60cm, spread 1-1.2m.

Choysia Tornata Sundance
A compact vivid golden leafed shrub which produces fragrant white flowers in May-June. Grows to only 1m.

Ceonothus (Californian Lilac) Thyrsiflorus Var Repens
A dwarf variety, ht.1m, which produces masses of blue flowers in late spring and summer. Foliage is very attractive. Spreading, cascading habit.

Leucothoe Scarletta 
A magnificent spreading shrub with vivid red foliage especially in the latter half of the year. Ht.50-60cm. Spread 1m.


I have some low growing Gaultheris which have red berries and are good for shade. In the same border I have Tiarellas and Heucheras - they grow quickly and are readily available. They have small flowers held high above the foliage. Lots of varieties. Pachysandra terminalis is also in the same border - small white flowers above bright green foliage. I'll put a couple of pix on to give you an idea. There are lots of Euphorbias which are quite low growing and many aren't fussy about sun or shade. Euonymous are useful foliage plants for sun or shdae - green and cream or green and gold varieties. They get to a reasonable size but you can easily trim them back if they get too big.  If the soil's not alkaline you could try some of the dwarf rhododendrons as they will take a while to get big so wouldn't take over quickly. 

This pic shows the Gaultheria (with the berries) and there's Euonymous behind it - green/cream foliage:

 this is a Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade' :

 and this is another Heuchera 'Alabama Sunrise':

 There are lots of purple Heucheras, easy to obtain. Hope that gives you a couple of suggestions.


Clever idea to use fake turf in that situation

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