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Christopher Mackinnon

hi, am thinking about buy some ground cover plants this year but evergreen kinds? what are the fast growing ground cover plants, from chris,


Hi Christopher

What's the soil and sun/shade/moisture situation?

hollie hock

hello, how about bugle/ajuga? Gives ground cover all year round, spreads and easy to propagate. Tough, seems to grow any where and sends up lovely blue stems of flowers in late spring which pollinators love


Geranium macrorrhizum is one of my favourites. Love the smell when you crush the leaves.


And you can get plain green or a pretty variation of bugle

Best is if you post in details of situation (sun, shade, part shade). How tall you want the plants and what is it to do (eyesore/stop weeding/ easy care/look pretty)

Looking at your profile, you should know that you need to be more specific


I picked up some roots of a beautiful silver/green leafed ground cover plant in a churchyard I was working in last month.
I have looked it up in the book and it's called Lamiastrum galeobdolon Variegated. It was growing in full sun in one place and under trees somewhere else.
The silver on the leaves was shining brilliantly. It's probably quite evasive but if you can keep it in check, it would be lovely.

That one is invasive Lyn. But lovely when growing well. 

Bergenia is lovely evergreen. Large leaves ...some have red colouring....and rich pink or red flowers. Spreads to form mounds. Can look very attractive. Many campanulas are evergreen but can be bit invasive.
Consider too liriope ..I grow it in partial shade and it inhibits weeds plus produces bright purple blue spikes in autumn. Nice contrast with bergenias
hollie hock

Is that geranium tolerant of difficult soil conditions, nut? I've seen it before and the large clumps of it looks impressive.


Does very well in shade or part shade. Can cope with very dry soil there. Not tried it in hot dry places or really heavy clay. Spreads well but easy to get out if it goes too far.

I've got it in a sort of light whitish pink, a clear light pink, magenta (ish) and white which is a bit feeble and doesn't spread so well.


Holle hock,  Geranium macrorrhizum will grow anywhere. I have it in growing in dry shade, damp shade and in sun. There are pink flowers in May, leaves take on autumnal shades in autumn, scented leaves and so easy to propagate. You just break off a piece and replant. Also easy to rid of (and you can't say that about too many ground cover plants. Roots are not deep and I just pull it out when it encroaches.

There is a varigated version and a smaller white flowered one too. I have found them alot less vigorous and not as good as the original in other aspects too.

hollie hock

Thanks for the info, will have more of a look at it.

hollie hock

Thanks Daintiness, the place I have in mind is partially shaded bed which is of heavy soil. I do grow quite a few plants in it but it tends to look a bit empty come mid Summer so whilst the flowers may be gone it would give some coverage and stop the weeds as well. Not that keen on varigated leaves myself.


I'm on London clay and mine does really well, I have underplanted with daffodils for spring colour and the leaves die down as the geranium flowers take over

hollie hock

Sounds like it should do well here, it looks like it has a nice tumbling habit over walls.


Helianthemums, Arabis, alyssums, and aubretias as well as osteospermums are all colourful evergreen groundover for me. In dry warm conditions they are excellent as well as thymes

Vinca major, is great in any situation


Vinca goes mad here but spoils it by getting rust (or something that looks like rust) just when I need it most.

Vinca can also become "gappy" so, for me not a great ground cover plant

I agree with others about Geranium macrorrhizum and the variety of this I like best is 'Bevans var.' which is a purple shade.  It is semi evergreen and already despite the freezing weather has leafed out.  

Incidentally, I am using these plants to inhibit the growth of the dreaded weed 'field horsetail' with which part of my garden is infested and so far I am impressed with the result..

I also like Helianthemum's, which are evergreen.  'The Bride' is especially nice I think...