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Hardy plant for ground cover

East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have a small corner of the garden, where my 2 Jack Russells like to jump up against the fence when the neighbour's cat torments them from on high. I struggle to get any delicate flowers to grow there and would like someone to recommend a plant, preferably evergreen, and a bit tough to act as ground cover. Staring at the mud is just uninspiring! Look forward to your suggestions, thanks.



Ivy would do the job I am sure, and they come in many shapes, colours and forms. Alternatively there are some tough forms of the cranesbill geranium which don't die back completely in winter and will flower in summer. I have 'Wargrave Pink' which is a real toughy.

15 Apr, 2009


You could try lesser periwinkle which is a bit of a thug (to put it mildly!), the less aggressive ivies, sedums, sempervivums but... you will still have to keep the dogs off the area whilst you were establishing the plants nothing likes to be trampled on when it is just getting its roots settled in. Perhaps you need to go for a complete re-think and instead of plants have something else that you can look at which the dogs can't harm? If the aspect is right you could create a gravel or scree bed with some large rocks and position the plants so that the dogs can't put their feet on them.

15 Apr, 2009


How about deterrents - or is that too cruel? I meant a spiky shrub like a berberis...they would think twice before they jumped on that - or not do it again after the first time!

I am trying to stop Henry dashing across my scree bed as a short-cut at the moment.. I am thinking of poking cut holly around the edge - he will probably just jump over it as he has the (temporary) low fences!

15 Apr, 2009


i have a jack russell and spiky plants dont seem to bother him.the main corner of the garden he used to park at was in the corner by a rose bush and he would just jump straight into it. ive tried all different spiky plants to try and keep him off different areas with no avail. the ivy worked a treat though.grows quick enough to withstand him

15 Apr, 2009


You don't say whether the spot is in sun or shade.
If it's shade, pachysandra terminalis is pretty tough or epimediums which look delicate but can actaully withstand a lot. Or something like mahonia aquifolium, a mildly suckering shrub which grows to four feet, is gently spiky without harming the dogs

15 Apr, 2009


Dogs do like to patrol their boundaries so you may want to consider leaving a corridor around the edge of the garden and then planting in front to disguise it.

If not then Euphorbia robbiae is tough, as is the Corsican hellebore plus Bergenias - all good for shade. I would suggest an English lavender for sun - they are tougher than you might think and have the added benefit of releasing a lovely fragrance anytime the dogs collide with them!

15 Apr, 2009

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