Groundcovering perennials such as saxifrage and rock cress/aubretia are a good choice for stony surfaces and walls. But in beds, too, their delicate blossoms will spread over the years into a soft carpet, giving gardening enthusiasts a lot of joy without much effort.

Versatile low-growing perennials will grow along slopes, soften walls, or provide more color to a garden bed. With a height of under 5 inches, they’re ideal for ground-covering plantings. Because of their robust and undemanding character, all they need is poor earth to thrive, meaning not even stony walls pose a problem for them. Thanks to their early blooming time, rock cress and saxifrage will draw attention as early as March.

Rock cress is easily recognized by its blue-to-violet blossoms. It owes its botanical name (Aubrieta) to the French artist Claude Aubriet, who travelled the world with biologists to draw flowers and plants. Rock cress prefers a warm, sunny or partially shady location with dry or moderately moist soil.

Saxifrage thrives best with little earth –  between stones or bricks, for example. Due to its traits, it used to be said that saxifrage could crack stone. These days this groundcover with its charming white, pink, or red flowers is primarily used as a decorative plant. It grows in porous ground on bright but shady spots that don’t receive direct sunlight.

Rock cress and saxifrage will also bloom heartily with very little watering or fertilizing; they must only be watered now and then during longer dry spells or drought. Groundcovering perennials are very long-lived plants, which is why they should be cut back by half in May, after flowering, so that they’ll greet the spring of the following year with particularly lush blossoms. This treatment can provoke some varieties to bloom again in fall. But even when not flowering, these evergreen groundcovers will beautify the garden. Since they grow year-round as a solid blanket, they’ll compete with weeds and spare you some gardening work.


Leave your thoughts here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner