Get Off The Grass - Groundcovers For Problem Places

Written by Jean Fritz

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The original plant used for “lawns” was creeping thyme (Thymus serphyllum). This creeping beauty is ideal for high-traffic areas, responding torepparttar onslaught of pedestrian footfalls with heavenly fragrance. Many people grow creeping thyme as a filler in flagstone or brick walkways, but there’s no reason to limit it to small spaces. Another herb that is popular as a groundcover and adapts to either sun or shade is sweet woodruff (Asperula odorata). The plant has a fernlike appearance, andrepparttar 136681 leaves smell like new-mown grass or hay. Inrepparttar 136682 spring, it boasts dainty white flowers that are used to flavor German May wine.

Finally, if you believe you are a brown-thumbed gardener and nothing will work for you, take heart. There are two groundcovers that grow in sun, shade, sand, clay, and are virtually indestructible. These arerepparttar 136683 golden moneywort (Lysmachia mummularia aurea) and bishop’s weed (Aegopodium variegata). Golden moneywort is a golden-leaved, low-growing creeper. It starts to color up in early spring, oncerepparttar 136684 temperatures reachrepparttar 136685 mid-60s, and retains its golden hue until hard frost hits. Like most lysmachias, it is very invasive, and can choke out unwanted weeds within two to three seasons. Bishop’s weed stands about 12” tall, and offers succulent, palmlike leaves in either deep green or variegated hues. Its flowers resemble those of Queen Anne’s lace. And from personal experience, I can attest that it comes back stronger after burning, tilling, chopping and applications of glyphosphate herbicide. Perhaps you can kill this stuff with kindness, but nothing else works.

Using groundcovers may take you out ofrepparttar 136686 “best lawn” competition withrepparttar 136687 neighbors, but they will be green with envy when your time is spent grilling and lounging rather than mowing, watering and fertilizing.

The author is a farmer and freelance writer. You can take a virtual tour of her farm at

How to Transplant Irises

Written by LeAnn R. Ralph

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3. Dig holes with a trowel about four inches deep and eight to ten inches apart. Putrepparttar iris roots intorepparttar 136412 holes and cover with soil.

4. Waterrepparttar 136413 transplanted irises thoroughly. Forrepparttar 136414 remainder ofrepparttar 136415 season, waterrepparttar 136416 irises a couple of times each week, especially when rain is in short supply.

Observations about irises:

1. From what I have seen ofrepparttar 136417 irises growing in my flower beds, they are tough plants that are quite drought resistant. Like any plant, they will do better when they receive plenty of water, but during years when it has been dry, they have still survived extremely well. And of course,repparttar 136418 irises that I dug up from old homesteads didn't have any help at all during drought years, and *they* made it just fine.

2. The irises in my yard seem to do equally well in full sun or in partial shade.

3. Trimmingrepparttar 136419 iris leaves afterrepparttar 136420 plants are done blooming to give more room and more light to other plants nearby doesn't seem to botherrepparttar 136421 irises. Forrepparttar 136422 past couple of years, I have trimmed irises growing next to my rose bush, andrepparttar 136423 following year,repparttar 136424 irises have come back as strong as ever.


LeAnn R. Ralph isrepparttar 136425 author ofrepparttar 136426 farm books "Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm" (trade paperback 2003); "Give Me a Home Whererepparttar 136427 Dairy Cows Roam" (trade paperback 2004); "Preserve Your Family History (A Step-by-Step Guide for Interviewing Family Members and Writing Oral Histories" (e-book 2004). You are invited to sign up forrepparttar 136428 free monthly newsletter, Rural Route 2 News --

LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of the farm books "Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm" and "Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam" (trade paperback 2004);

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