Ground cover for cracks

Instead of pointing the cracks of a path or wall, extraordinary results can be achieved by filling the void with flowering ground cover plants. A carpet of colour can substitute the most boring of bricks or paving.

In one pot sits a number of plants, only a small amount of piece of fiborous root is needed to be tucked under the surface. Under the right conditions it will root itself and the rest is done. A small amount of soil is needed perhaps within the cracks but only as a root zone. Some species may even be able to cope with a gritty composite of almost no humus rich matter. It will live off the minerals of rocks nearby.

White flowers include – Thymus serpyllum ‘Snowdrift’ – a creeping thyme. Iberis sempervirens – good as foliage and flowers in spring and summer. Cerastium tomentosum – fantastic grey foliage and white flowers – a spreading habit throughout spring into summer. Saxifraga sancta – a true alpine that draws its goodness from the stones around it. Erigeron karvinskianus – providing pink and white ground cover for months.

Pink flowers – Chamomile ‘Treneague’ – effective in sun and shade, gives off an aroma when bruised. Dianthus deltoides ‘maiden pink’ – highly scented, late spring to summer of white, red or pink. Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’ – pink to red flowers, mat forming and highly scented.

Red flowers – Dianthus deltoids ‘Flashing lights’ providing a striking show from late summer to autumn. Portulaca (moss rose) too provides an assortment of colours including red, orange, white although can be a bit particular about their environment. Must be in full sun and in sandy, free draining soil but at the same time cannot withstand really dry periods, because of their size and habit care must be taken when watering as the flowers can easily be damaged.

Blue Flowers – Aubretia – ‘Blue carpet’ – from spring to summer provides a carpet of blue to violet flowers, deadhead to thicken growth. Cornflower ‘Trailing Blue Carpet’- to prepare for following year indoors or sow in spring outside, mat forming and trailing annual. Geranium ‘Rozanne’ – repeats of blooms throughout summer, but may need a substantial root zone in humus rich soil. It has a relative ‘Johnson’s blue’ but the blooms are not as striking and its habit needs more attention to control. Veronica x ‘Blue reflection’ – a spring flowering ground cover plant crossed with parenting plants for it’s resilience and flowering habit.

Purple flower – Vinca minor – a carpet forming late summer to autumn flower. Vinca major, a relative has the same showy flower but larger and more invasive. Good for shaded neglected spots. Verbena Tapien ‘Purple Passion’ and ‘Blue Violet’ provide flowers throughout spring and summer forming a dense cover to any bare spot. The hybrid ‘blue violet’ requires no deadheading and is extremely low maintenance. Primula tyrolensis – a dwarf flowering primrose. This flowers through winter and often in poor soil but doesn’t like being wet and prefers some shelter in well drained soil. Campanula poscharskyana ‘Blue Waterfall’ flowers from late spring to summer proving to be popular with beneficial insects and requires no maintenance.

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I'm Craft Gardener with several years experience. Due to the massive impact the internet has had on advice, forums and consultancy services - it seems knowledge and experience is everchanging and we should therefore share techniques and offer others alternative routes in pests, diseases and weed treatments. The very smallest alterations in aspect, soil conditioning and pruning can determine a plants vigour, health and lifespan hugely. My blogs and online assistance should motivate and interest even the most amateur of green fingered people. As my ex partner used to say "it's green isn't it"?