Two Time Tested Groundcovers To Try

Some of you will remember that many (20+) years ago, there was a wonderful specialty nursery on the West Coast called Heronswood. Heronswood Nursery turned us on to so many great new plants! Yes the climate on Bainbridge Island was much milder than ours here in zone 6, and some of their offerings would not survive our cold winters. Still there were plant discoveries that could.  One was this evergreen ground cover commonly known as Silver Veined Wintercreeper, (Euonymus fortunei ‘Wolong Ghost’).

We’ve had this planted for decades in a spot with only a few hours of sunlight. Here it has gracefully spread and spilled over a low retaining wall. Plants do not get much taller than 8-10″ but can cover an area as the stems might root along as they touch the earth. It is known to be hardy in zones 5-9, is adaptable to part sun or shade plus it is disliked by deer.

Sedum sichotense

Another ground cover we have enjoyed in our garden for years is Sedum sichotense. (now reclassified as Phedimus sichotense). Low growing (under 4″) but ever spreading, it is a superb choice for dry soil in full sun. The narrow serrated leaves add textural interest, but what is most exciting is the foliage turns shades of brilliant red in the fall .

Fall color starting to turn red

Sedum sichotense offers clusters of starry yellow summer flowers that are favored by bees. It ishardy in zones 4-9 (it’s native to a part of Russia we’re told).  And yes, it is deer resistant.

Buy Euonymus fortunei ‘Wolong Ghost online

Buy Sedum sichotense online

4 thoughts on “Two Time Tested Groundcovers To Try”

  1. Hello Kathy! ‘Wolong Ghost’ is a beautiful plant, the nicest euonymus, in my opinion. But like all euonymus (euonymae?), it’s vigorous, a bit too vigorous for my shady urban garden in Somerville, MA. It spread like wildfire and threatened to take over the whole front yard. I had to pull it out — or rather, tried to pull it out. It’s very hard to completely uproot, and four years later I still find sprouts popping up.

  2. Well, it did what it was supposed to…act as a ground cover. For some reason, maybe it is the spot we chose, our clumps of Wolong Ghost have behaved admirably, spreading over the wall but not taking over the area. Plants behave so differently, garden to garden. And, remember, editing is part of gardening.

  3. You said the magic words: deer resistant. Our deer herd in suburban Maryland is voracious.
    I’m also wondering if I could grow that sedum in an autumn container.

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