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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

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Monday - November 19, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, which require me to trim (edge) around each block all the time? Thanks,

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants concurs your intent avoid using St. Augustine to fill the gaps between your limestone blocks. To me Silver Pony foot Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot)is a good choice, but as you read in the links below, it can produce runners up to 4’ in a year. This may be more trimming than you want to do, but its better that mowing St. Augustine.

missouribotanicalgarden.org

smgrowers.com

Another possibility is a ground cover called Horse Herb Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy). From the links below, you can see that it has its proponents and detractors. It is fast growing and is considered invasive by some.

greatstems.com

gardenweb.com

A third possibility is a native perennial ground cover called Frog Fruit Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit).

regionalconservation.org

Any plant that is growing in the gaps is going to require some maintenance. You will have to choose the best looking, low maintenance plant you can find.

 

From the Image Gallery


Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea



Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

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