I want an invasive plant!

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I have an area in front of my house that is surrounded by driveway, so any plant would be confined no matter how invasive it is. Right now it is full of lilies of the valley, which are certainly invasive but they don't like it there and get ratty looking by mid-summer.
So I'm looking for suggestions. Something different, interesting and bullet-proof, requiring zero maintenance once established. Won't be walked on much by people, but dogs will use the area. It's raised and steeply sloped so not easy to mow.
The area is 20 ft by 10 feet, east facing, partial sun, lots of water off a porch roof. Zone 5 (Eastern Ontario). Sandy, well drained soil.
I saw a type of bamboo grass on a PBS gardening show, which is the kind of thing that might work. It looked quite attractive.
Any ideas?
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A good English Ivy makes a great ground cover. All it needs is the occaisional trim with a weed whacker. We had one that nearly ate the back yard.
Shell

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And if you get one of the cultivars (several hundred or so available) it will be even more interesting;-) // Jim
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A cultivated variety..
eg Hedera helix 'Goldheart'. Goldheart is the cultivar. And its a vigourous one possibly a suitable suggestion for the OP's request. It has a gold centre to a darker green leaf. // Jim
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Dave Gower wrote:

Cultivar is a horticultural abbreviation for "cultivated variety". It is a plant that has been selectively bred for a special feature - unusual or variegated foliage, bloom color, size or time, dwarf size, etc. They are typically given a name written in single quotation marks which distinguishes them from the straight species. For example, Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen' is a cultivar of oakleaf hydrangea that was selected for the size and shape of its blossoms, which tend to be larger and more heavily comprised of sterile florets than the species.
pam - gardengal
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On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 23:14:09 -0400, "Dave Gower"

You didn't say where you live, which would help. Vinca major should grow where Lily of the Valley does. It is virtually indestructable, and spreads like Kudzu. The common sort has blue flowers at some season of the year, and there are pink- and white-flowering varieties. It is usually recommended as a 'shade' groundcover, but moves happily into full sun. It is evergreen in zone 7-8 -- don't know about elsewhere.
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Creeping primrose
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Before I reccomend one I need info on how much dog traffic you are talking.
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What is invasive in one place may not be in another. I have been trying to get pachysandra to grow (acidic, shady. moist conditions) but finally determined the summer heat is just too intense for it, but it is invasive in Cleveland, Ohio. My English ivy is growing very slowly (7 years), yet it grows like a weed in Seattle. To find out what is invasive, look in your region. Kudzu is definately invasive in e.TN.
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Bishop's goutweed - aegopodium - attractive foliage all summer, (white and green variegated) - the roots would hold the soil nicely on your slope, even though it goes dormant in winter- and it is drought tolerant but can take a lot of water too. Looks like a nice, refined plant, until you let it loose near your garden beds or lawn....LOL
What about Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola Tricolor). It flowers all summer. If it becomes too high or stops flowering, you can cut it a bit and it restarts again. I think you can seed it in the fall for next year flowers. It does really well in partial shade.
Franoise.
Dave Gower wrote:

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Problem is that it will produce seed and soon escape it's confines - I know this from experience :-( .
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I have Johnny Jump-ups. True they produce seeds and they appear in spring where they should not. After the first grass cuttings, the do not come back. In the flowerbed, I treat them as a weed and just pull them. They do not bother me and they are very nice.
Franoise.
Seamus Ma' Cleriec wrote:

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I was referring to the "Bishop's goutweed - aegopodium", not Johnny Jump-ups. Goutweed spreads underground and unless you get every bit of plant out you'll have itforever and ever and ever .... I curse the person who first brought goutweed to the area !

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try goutweed. anton
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Kudzu, if it is able to grow in your area. You said your area is surounded by a driveway etc, oh well forget Kudzu, as it will cover your driveway, and then work on your house, fence, power poles and anything else that is in its path, almost overnight. Not much Kudzu won't cover and take control of. -- Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Contents: foundry and general metal working and lots of related projects. Regards Roy aka Chipmaker // Foxeye Opinions are strictly those of my wife....I have had no input whatsoever. Remove capital A from chipmAkr for correct email address
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A ground cover rose such as "Grouse" might be a good choice. It is aggressive, fast growing, incredibly tough and winter hardy. Grouse has small, shiny, dark green--pretty much evergreen-- leaflets. It does not get more than about ten inches high. The flowers are single-petaled ---i.e. five petals-- light pink fading to white, scented, and about two inches across. Once established it needs no special attention. I have had it covering a steep slope in my yard for years. Neither dogs, cats, deer, or groundhogs seem to bother it.
BTW, it has plenty of small, sharp, and strong thorns.
J. Del Col
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J. Del Col wrote:

Where can someone buy "Grouse" in USA? The few places that I can find that sells them are all in Europe. There are other groundcover roses available (like "Sea Foam"), but I don't know if these others are hardy in zone 4.
Bob
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"Sea Foam is a bit big for a ground cover. It gets to be nearly 4 feet tall. It is very aggressive, in more ways than one. It has the most vicious thorns (prickles, technically) of any rose in my collection (I have about 120 roses.) If you want a barrier hedge, Seafoam is a great choice.
I got "Grouse" from Heirloom Old Garden Roses. I don't know if they have it anymore.
J. Del Col
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Check Heirloom Roses for Green Snake. My catalog says it is hardy to zone 4/5 with a height of 6" to 1', so maybe you'll have luck with it. http://heirloomroses.com/ Other zone 4/5 ground covers in the 2003 catalog are the Meidilands (alba, coral, magic, ruby), Pink Bells, and Seafoam, but they are all well over a foot in height.
karen

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Mint!... Cant get it out. I planted it without knowing it was so invasive and now.... I'm pulling it out like mad! Dorothy

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