Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Lawns, Ground Cover, & Wildflowers
Flashy and Tough Ground Covers
by Jack Ruttle
The 'Blue Rug' juniper is one of the most popular landscape plants ever, and for good reason. Like most junipers it is both cold and heat tolerant, and will grow well on poor, dry soils. Add to that its wonderful steel-blue foliage that creeps over the ground like a living rug, and you have a near-perfect groundcover plant to use near buildings and walkways.
Now there is an improved form of 'Blue Rug' called 'Icee Blue'. It is even more compact and low-branching than its famous predecessor. New growth is a very bright silver-blue. But because it produces more branches, 'Icee Blue' has more new growth and hence more color. The older plants maintain thick foliage cover even in the center.
There's a new yellow juniper too. 'Gold Lace' is a brighter gold than older varieties such as 'Gold Coast' and 'Gold Star', which are upright mounding plants, not creepers. 'Gold Lace' will form an arching mound about 3 feet high and 4 feet across.
Both 'Ice Blue' and 'Gold Lace' are widely available at retail nurseries.