En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Ground cover for south-facing yard in Paris, TX

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 09, 2008

From: Paris, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for south-facing yard in Paris, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are moving to Paris, Tx. Our front yard faces south with 2 large sycamores shading it. Grass has a hard time growing here. I'd like to plant groundcover. Think it's sandy loam. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

If your yard faces south, it will have lots of sun in the winter, and the sycamore trees will probably cause some shade. We are being requested often for groundcovers, but there really are not that many native plants that make an attractive show, stay low on the ground, and tolerate both sun and shade. So, we'd like to suggest another concept, a meadow. We've been to Paris many times, a lovely old town with beautiful gardens. If there are no restrictions requiring you to have mowed grass in your front yard, please read our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening. This would permit you to gradually replace the low-performing grass, add different heights and textures, and plan for a long season of color. It's a gradual process, not requiring that you jump in and make over the whole garden at once. Because the plants are native, they will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance and be less likely to be damaged by pests and diseases. The sycamores can become anchors to your garden, with the other plants complementing them. Now, take a look at our How-To Article, Native Lawns. You will note that it suggests a meadow garden as an alternative to the manicured lawn. We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on East Texas, and make a selection of plants we think would work for you in your lawn or meadow. Be sure and read the description on the linked webpage for each plant, selecting according to light and soil moisture requirement, colors and time of blooms, etc. With exceptions noted, most of these are perennials. Then, go to our Suppliers section, click on East Texas, type your city and town into the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant supplers of plants and seeds, as well as landscaping professionals, in your general area. They will have websites or telephone numbers so you can contact them for availability or more plant ideas.

Packera aurea (golden ragwort)

Dichondra argentea (silver ponysfoot) - annual

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) - evergreen

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress) - biennial

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm) - winter annual

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)


Packera aurea

Dichondra argentea

Calyptocarpus vialis

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Ipomopsis rubra

Monarda citriodora

Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Callicarpa americana

Ilex decidua

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

 

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover for Thornton CO
June 04, 2012 - I want to order ground cover because I don't want to mess with grass any more. I live in Colorado, north of Denver. The soil has a lot of clay. I tried clover and that did not do well. My yard is par...
view the full question and answer

Aggressive Frogfruit
September 17, 2009 - I have frogfruit voluntarily growing in my flower beds. I had intended to use it as a ground cover but am concerned that it is taking over. Will it kill (smother) my flowers that I have planted for bu...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen ground covers and low plants for Dallas area
May 25, 2010 - Would like a list of low growing (24" or less) evergreen plants including ground covers, scrubs, etc-flowering and non-flowering that are hardy and require low maintenance in the Dallas area. So ofte...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for East Texas
November 07, 2010 - I live in the country of east Texas and wish to grow native ground covers around my house and property. I have no way to control this growth, as I have no fences or borders. I have sandy soil and th...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for foot traffic in dry shade from Prineville OR
May 12, 2013 - I live in central Oregon. I have an area under a large elm tree that slopes on all sides and has lots of foot traffic and no sun. (my kids have a swing in the tree and play around it a lot.) It's a v...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center