What attractive, flowering groundcovers that grow no taller than
6" (under 3" would be best) would you recommend that will grow well
under these conditions:
I live in Riverside, California (about 60 miles east of Los Angeles).
I'm in USDA Zone 8b or Sunset Zone 19.
The summer high-temperatures may get up to 115 degrees
The winter low-temperatures may get down to 15 degrees.
One-third of my garden is partly-shaded by a deciduous tree from March
through December but the rest of my garden is in full-sun.
Cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana): This grows quite close to the
ground. It has yellow flowers about the diameter of a nickle, on and
off from spring until frost.
Pink clover (Persicaria capitata): This is NOT really a clover. Its
flowers resemble white clover, but they're pink. This also blooms from
spring until frost (and even into frost if it's light). It creates a
mat about about 4 inches thick. In the winter, the foliage turns red.
I have both of these together in the same beds in back. In front, I'm
using pink clover in place of grass for the main part of the front lawn.
I've tried the cinquefoil in the parkway in front, but it doesn't seem
to thrive. In back, it grows like a weed.
Look up both in Sunset's "Western Garden Book".
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
You could always fall back on that old CALTRANS standby of Carpobrotus
edulis or Ice Plant. It grew very well along the freeway ramps all the
way up to at least San Jose. Grows _too_ well in fact since it seems to
have become an invasive species but if you could manage to keep yours
under control it was always a fine ground cover especially where water
shortage was a concern. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_plant
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