If you’d love to do something with your backyard but hate the thought of getting out the lawnmower every weekend, then here’s a great solution. Selecting ground cover plants for your Melbourne garden can give you a beautiful, low maintenance outdoor space, with no lawn mowing needed.
Groundcovers are the ultimate hardy plants for the tough Australian climate. Many are drought resistant and thrive in extreme conditions, so they’re ideal for full sun or shady areas where a lawn might struggle. You’ll enjoy reduced watering with ground covers too, they’re not as thirsty as a lawn, a definite bonus for your water bill.
Popular uses of garden ground cover plants in Melbourne include: between pavers, on steep slopes, filling awkward spaces, as edging around shrubs or trees or as a lawn substitute – as you can see, there’s a lot of creative scope when using garden ground cover!
Here are some more benefits of planting ground cover in your garden:
- Suppresses and prevents weeds
- Conserves moisture in the soil
- Insulates soil from extreme heat or cold
- Looks smart and cohesive
- Hides imperfect garden features
- Encourages birds and wildlife
- Diverse range from perennial to deciduous.
Check out our 7 suggestions for ground covers that are suited to low maintenance gardens.
Vinca or periwinkle is a white flowering ground cover that is well suited to hot, dry areas of your garden and is very insect and disease resistant. This is a species of hardy ground cover plants that like full sun and is low maintenance. It has glossy green leaves, white flowers (also comes in rose, pink and red) and makes great edging or bedding for other plants.
2. Viola Labradorica
Viola Labradorica is always a good choice for a flowering ground cover. This viola ground cover sports dark leaves around five cm in diameter with delicate purple flowers. It likes well drained soil in full to part shade, can spread thickly over a largish area and does well under larger plants. It can also be planted in baskets or pots.
3. Lotus Red Flash
If you want some vibrant colour, go with red ground covers such as the Lotus Red Flash which is a deciduous vine-like plant. It has a creeping green foliage with little flowers resembling flames of bright red, orange and yellow. It likes full sun or part shade and well drained soil. Flowering in late spring it looks great in rockeries or containers as it cascades down over the sides.
Bergenia Bressingham White is an attractive white flowering ground cover but Bergenia also comes in other varieties: Bressingham Ruby and Red Beauty. Characterised by a base of oval-shaped leaves and thin stalks with clusters of small bell-like flowers. It likes a semi-shade position but doesn’t mind a bit of sun.
5. Berry Saltbush
Berry Saltbush is another of the red ground covers that flowers in late spring. It produces tiny red berries that attract native birds and garden skinks. As well as having attractive grey-grey foliage, this low ground covering shrub can cover an area with a width of 1.5 metres and is a great weed suppressant. It rarely needs water and likes partial shade to full sun.
6. Viola Banksii
This versatile native viola ground cover is very hardy with small heart shaped leaves and white and purple flowers. It is useful for covering shady areas and can cover large areas if it likes the conditions. It’s commonly used to edge pavers, drape over retaining walls, and can even work well as a lawn substitute if it receives low foot traffic.
An edible or green ground cover like Oregano is an option for a low maintenance garden. Oregano can be picked for use in cooking but also functions to repel insects such as mosquitoes and other garden pests. Its low bushy habit is suitable for rockeries and it likes well drained soil, full sun and is fairly drought tolerant.