By Marianne Binetti
My favorite groundcovers look better and work better when grown as power couples. Weeds don’t stand a chance in my beds because I’ve got some passionate groundcovers intertwined so tightly that nothing would dare sneak in between the embrace.
I admit that sometimes my beautiful plant marriages get carried away—and I end up pulling out overly enthusiastic groundcovers every three or four years. But I figure that’s a fair trade-off to get my bare ground carpeted with flowers and foliage instead of overtaken by weeds.
Here are three of my favorite low-growing power couples:
Golden creeping Jenny and blue ajuga: Jenny dominates this relationship, but the carpet bugle or ajuga stands tall, dark, and handsome in this partly sunny pathway. Garden gossip says Jenny is a bit of a tramp, hopping into nearby beds when given too much to drink. I placed black metal stepping stones right on top of the creeping Jenny to create a colorful walk down the yellow foliage road.
Saxifrage and Lamium: I use these two under rhododendrons and in the most shaded of my woodland paths. The round form of ‘London Pride’ saxifrage makes a nice edging along a path and looks a bit more formal than the spreading habit of ‘Beacon Silver’ lamium.
Vinca minor and golden ‘Angelina’ sedum: This duo spills down a sunny hillside, but overhead trees shade it from the afternoon sun. The sedum can handle full sun, but vinca does best with some shade. I love the contrast of the deep-violet blooms against the bright-gold sedum.
Speaking of sedums, I also use any and all low-growing sedums as weed blocks. This gray sedum ‘Cape Blanco’ acts as a silver frame for some blue garden art.
So tell me—who are the power couples in your garden?
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