ground cover

Good ground cover can reduce the temperature of your yard! Here are an expert’s 11 favorites

Plant some ground cover in your yard!

It’s a landscaping detail that often gets overlooked. A good ground cover can go a long way… adding a lush, vibrant touch to your yard without much upkeep.

Garden educator and enthusiast Carly Wood helped us explore the best ground cover options for our space.


The Practical Beauty of Ground Covers

Carly emphasized that ground covers are more than just aesthetically pleasing. They keep weeds at bay and can reduce the ambient temperature of your space. “If you’re thinking about being on concrete or asphalt versus being somewhere where there’s plants covering the ground, it can totally change your temperature maybe 15 to 20 degrees,” Carly emphasized. They also prevent soil erosion, especially on hillsides, by holding the dirt in place.

Choosing the Right Ground Cover

When selecting ground covers, it’s important to consider their growth patterns. Pairing an aggressive plant with a more subdued one might lead to the former overtaking the latter. “Just know your ground cover. They have to play nicely!” Carly said. Understanding the nature of each ground cover ensures they grow harmoniously.

Carly’s Top Picks for Ground Covers

  • Creeping Phlox: Known for its vibrant colors and semi-evergreen nature, creeping phlox is a springtime bloomer that’s perfect for rock gardens.
  • Aubretia: Often paired with phlox, aubrieta has tidy foliage and is semi-evergreen, offering a neat appearance throughout the year.
  • Candytuft: This evergreen subshrub blooms in spring and maintains a green color even in winter, making it ideal for year-round interest.
  • Snow in Summer: With silvery foliage and white blooms, this plant is an early summer bloomer that thrives in rocky areas.
  • Creeping Speedwell: Known for its purples and pinks, this early summer bloomer stays low to the ground and is excellent for rock gardens.
  • Lamium: Available in various colors, lamium is a shade-loving ground cover that adds texture and color to shaded areas.
  • Sweet Woodruff: This herbaceous plant fills in nicely, especially in damp, shaded areas, and features a whirl of white flowers in late spring.
  • Wooly Thyme: With many non-culinary varieties available, thyme makes a great ground cover that can withstand foot traffic.

Larger Ground Cover Options: Bishop’s Weed, Vinca, St. John’s-wort

Finding Ground Covers in Utah

Carly said that all of her recommended ground covers are readily available in Utah. “All of these are grown from Butterfield Gardens, which are a local Utah company. They supply a lot of the nurseries we have here in Utah,” she mentioned. These plants can be found at nurseries and big-box stores throughout the state.

Ground covers are an important part of landscaping that offer both beauty and functionality. With Carly’s reccommendations, you can transform your outdoor space into a thriving, low-maintenance garden.

For more information, follow Carly on Instagram @thegardenspot, or visit

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