Low-growing or mid-size grasses are top-notch ground covers. They'll do a great job of smothering weeds while creating an interesting texture for your landscape. Test Garden Tip: Mounding grasses often make better ground covers because of their dense habit.
Culver's Root This is a perfect perennial for the back of the border. White, pink, or blue blooms adorn tall stems in summer. It pairs beautifully with cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) and great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica). Name: Veronicastrum virginicum Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and moist soil Size: To 5 feet tall Zones: 4-7
Pachysandra BH, Use pachysandra to cover deeply shaded ground. This plant offers rich, dark jade foliage and little clusters of white flowers. Pachysandra will take a few seasons to establish but once at home will thrive on neglect. Plant it and ignore it: The plant is about as low-maintenance as you get.
'Sprite' Astilbe: Fill your shade garden with charm and color with easy-growing 'Sprite' astilbe. This selection features pink, feather-like plumes in early summer over finely textured rich green foliage.
Add Texture to Beds and Borders, Ornamental grasses add unique texture to the landscape. Soft, mounding grasses such as fountaingrass look great with plants that have a bolder texture, for example. More upright grasses, such as switchgrass, make great textural counterparts to more mounded plants.
Baptisia Also called false indigo for its blue springtime flowers, baptisia is a native prairie plant with deep roots that push through the toughest clay soil. Other selections extend baptisia's color range to white, yellow, and purple.