By David Taffet

Tired of seeding, watering, mowing, feeding and weeding your lawn and still only coming up with mixed results? Trying replacing some or all of it with ground cover.

"Ground cover" is the term landscapers use for plants that propagate easily with a low profile, and which generally takes much less care and add nice variety to a yard.

Ajuga is a member of the mint family with broad green and white leaves that produces spikes of purple flowers and grows in full sun to shade.

The granddaddy of ground covers is ivy, pictured, which grows well in shade. Although it creeps along the ground and covers large areas quickly, it also climbs trees and houses, and can do some damage. Cut it away from branches and trunks because it can eventually smother them. Roots that get into the mortar in a brick house can cause cracks and other damage.
Mondo grass flourishes in shade to partial sun. This tall, showy grass is often used as borders and to accent other ground covers.

Liriope thrives in shade, grows two to four inches tall and produces violet flowers in late spring. Asian jasmine is a fast grower — after reaching 12 to 18 inches, it should be cut back to four inches once a year to keep it tidy.


— David Taffet

Dallas’ gay community is lucky enough to be home to the Rainbow Garden Club. For more information, Visit the

Interested in developing your green thumb but unsure where to start? Dallas’ gay community is lucky enough to be home to the Rainbow Garden Club. The club, which meets at least once a month, holds seminars on topics such as container gardening and Texas-native plants, presented by many local experts. Next up on the club’s calendar: Participating in the Earth Day celebration, presented by Friends of Oak Cliff on April 20. The May 11 meeting topic is shade gardening.

These articles appeared in the Dallas Voice – Great Spaces print edition April 18, 2008.
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