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Covering Ground Paperback – July 30, 2007
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“Barbara W. Ellis transforms yards into flowering pieces of art…offering low-maintenance schemes, plant combinations, and in-depth advice on nurturing verdant landscapes.”
“Covering Ground will inspire with its wonderful possibilities for creating eye-catching color and texture in unexpected places. Ellis has the answers to the toughest garden situations…”
East Coast Gardener
“If you’re making the decision to get rid of some water-thirsty lawn, here’s help. Here are plenty of alternatives, as simple or as show as you want, for sun or shade, around pavers, along edges, fragrant or not, fast- or slow-growing, high- or low-maintenance.”
St. Petersburg Times
“There's life beyond lawn grass, and even beyond English ivy and pachysandra. You'll find lots of good ideas in Covering Ground.”Chicago Tribune
“Barbara Ellis … elevates utilitarian ground cover plants to garden stars.”McClatchy News Service
From the Back Cover
REPLACE GRASS on hard-to-mow slopes
CONNECT scattered flower beds, trees, and shrubs
CONTROL erosion along stream banks
CARPET the patches between stepping stones
STABILIZE boggy areas
EDGE walkways, curbs, and driveways
CREATE natural alternatives to traditional lawns
ADD A SPLASH OF COLOR anywhere you need it!
Top customer reviews
The book is an excellent book on ground covers of all types. It is divided into sections by 1) Site considerations, 2) perfect plants for every site and the actual planting, and 3) growing and propagating of the many plants featured. Barbara gives us an excellent view of problem areas in yards and gardens and some solutions for these areas. The she takes the problem areas (sun lovers, ground huggers for paths, perennials for sun, vines for covering ground, shrubby shade plants, woodland natives, wet soil and acid soil). She even includes a section on what she considers “problem plants” which she lists out for being overly vigorous in spreading, or escaping into the wild.
As these are plant choices for covering large areas, many of her selections are much taller than normally considered “ground covers.” She lists many plants for drifts or swails which may reach 4 feet or more. Most of the plants Barbara lists are hardy, and in many areas of the country vigorous growers and spreaders. Thus this is an excellent book for people with large areas. But even those with smaller areas can greatly benefit from exploring the plant selections in this book.
As Barbara wrote this book for nation wide use, each gardener will have to evaluate the plants that may or may not grow in his/her area, zone, climate, soil, and micro-ecology.
The book is well written, a good read with lots of beautiful pictures of hundreds of plants. This is not a beginner's garden book, but an excellent book for advanced gardeners faced with areas of ground that need covering.
Ground covers are traditionally planted in a single species in a large drift. The author of Covering Ground, has opened me to the idea that there are other options to how we plant ground covers. Barbara Ellis likes to plant her ground covers in small drifts - of three or five plants of a single species or intermingling two different species of plants in drifts of three to five in one bed. Very creative and extremely beautiful! I will be trying this technique.
This book had many, many color photographs and is very well organized giving specific plant suggestions for each soil type and both sun and shade situations with a nice section on native ground cover - one of my primary areas of interest.
I rated this a four star book and recommend it for any gardener.
Besides making the case for using them, Ellis also provides plenty of assistance for choosing the optimal
plants for your terrain and climate, with detailed steps for preparing the soil and planting. In addition,
her resource is saturated with numerous photographs of individual plants and plant groupings. It is a
text that will be consulted repeatedly in the years ahead.