How My Garden Grows: Six

Ajuga [Bugleweed]

Dear Readers,

This is Part Six of “Margot’s Get-Real Guide to Gardening in North West Florida.”

I have previously described Stories or Levels in the vertical spaces of your garden.

In this entry, I will describe Story or Level One: Perennial Evergreen Ground-covers.  

The term “groundcover” applies to those plants that spread, clump, and creep, to form a dense covering over the ground, thereby crowding out weeds and preventing erosion.

Here are my favorite tall perennial evergreen ground-covers:  These plants are bulletproof, evergreen, blooming, and require no cutting [except for one].

These plants will help to form the “backbone” of your garden:  On a winter day, you will see lots of green in your garden!

More to come, in this series:  “The Big Picture of Garden Design.”


These three evergreen perennial ground-covers look fabulous together but you must plant them in shade.

Note: Be very sure about the sun exposure, before you plant these.  The deeper the shade, the better they will look.

Cyrtomium falcatum [Holly Fern]:

~part shade to full shade

~moisture:  regular

~looks great under a tree, in a mass

~soil:  does not require–yet likes–good soil

~do not plant too deeply


Aspidistra elatior [Cast Iron Plant]:

~part-shade to full shade: no bright, hot sun

~mositure:  moderate

~soil:  not required, but for best results:  amend the soil and fertilize regularly


Liriope muscari: dark green “Evergreen Giant”

~part shade to full shade

~water:  regular

~blooms once a year – not distinctive

~liriope [green] and [variegated] look great next to each other



Note: I have planted all of these in dappled sunlight.  They bloom quite well and the leaves do not appear stressed.

Rudbeckia nitida ‘herbstonne’ [“Autumn Sun”]

~grows to 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide

~profuse gold flowers in summer

~bluish-green leaves are very attractive

~trim this one, to control growth

~full sun to part shade

~blooms: yellow, summer to fall

~moisture: moderate

~attracts: butterflies

~grows 4-6’ tall

~plant 2-3’ off-center

Dietes [African iris]

~not an iris — but looks like one!

~requires moderate moisture

~grows 2-4′ tall and 2′ wide

~plant 1 foot off-center

~full sun or part shade



Iris Virginica ‘Blue Flag’

~likes acid, sandy soil

~requires high moisture:  I planted mine near a “fogger” or “mister” [to attract birds]

~grows 2-4′ tall

~plant 1-3′ off-center

~light: full sun or light shade

Agapanthus [Lily of the Nile]

~moisture: requires little water but can tolerate too much water, also~grows 4′ tall and 1′ wide

~large bloom on one slender stalk

~blooms:  colors from which to choose: white, lilac, indigo blue/purple

~blooms: distinctive blooms, on tall stems, various colors,  once a year

~requires full sun to part shade


~easy to divide

~roots like to be crowded, in order to bloom

~choose the best variety for your area

~grows to 4 feet high; plant 1 feet off-center



1 Comment

Filed under Gardens

One response to “How My Garden Grows: Six

  1. Margie Gibbons

    This article takes my heart directly to Tallahassee, our beloved home for over 32 years. Interesting, how the beauty of our Sovereign Father GOD’S creations takes us directly to HIM and fills our minds with HIS love and forever fond memories with family and friends. Thanks Be to Margot for filing in the details and pictures of an enhanting North West Florida garden.

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