Groundcovers: An Exuberant Combination

– Posted in: Garden Plants

Lotus berthelotti-focus on flowers-foreground-with Persicaria capitata mixed in-resized

When you combine sharp orange/red tubular shaped flowers and silver needled stems with soft pink globe shaped flowers perched on wiry stems 1-2 inches high with variegated leaves, the result is an eyepopping combination! These specimens offer a huge contrast in both the flower and leaf shapes and colors that will minimally be noted by visitors to your garden.

Agaves and groundcovers-April 25, 2009-silver leaved in foreground, sea of persicaria behind-2nd revision

I think the combination of Lotus berthelotii together with Persicaria capitata works perfectly. Don’t you just love the sharp tubular flowers displaying their pageantry wherever they want with the silver, slim leaves cushioning them?

Agaves and groundcovers-April 25, 2009 016.jpg-resized

Lotus berthelotii, commonly known as Parrots Beak or Parrots Bill, is grown for its sharp red blooms produced in pairs and silver, needle like leaves. A native of the Canary Islands, with its sprawling, prostrate, trailing habit, it works well as a groundcover or in a hanging basket. Its bloom period is April-May: a good time to take cuttings is June-August.  Its silver foliage alone makes it a noteworthy groundcover. It thrives in full or partial sun, well drained soil and is a tender specimen.

Agaves and groundcovers-April 25, 2009 015-resized

Persicaria capitata, commonly known as pink knot-weed, should be treated as an annual in all but the warmest climates. It’s a terrific groundcover that blooms from June-September when deadheaded regularly. Even without the blooms, its cylindric reddish and ochre/green striated leaves make it a worthwhile groundcover. If you’ve already had experience with any of the perennial persicarias, such as affinis, amplexicaulis or polystachya, you know that not only do they add mass and color to a herbaceous border but that they are extremely hardy perennials worth checking out (whose only fault is that they can be invasive if not kept under tight control).

Fran Sorin
The 10th Anniversary Edition of Fran's classic book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, has recently been published. Updated with a new foreword by the renowned author, Larry Dossey, M.D., it has dozens of endorsements from renowned spiritual, gardening, and personal development authors and experts in their fields. A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, Fran is a renowned gardening expert, passionate gardener, deep ecologist, inspirational speaker, ordained interfaith minister, soul tending coach, and CBS Radio news contributor. See less Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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lotusleaf July 17, 2009, 5:47 am

A lotus growing on the ground! Beautiful!

Yep…from one lotus lover to another, I agree that it’s beautiful. Fran

Lisa at Greenbow July 17, 2009, 7:39 am

Eye popping.

Yeh Lisa….you either love or dislike it …no middle ground for this combo! Fran

cola July 17, 2009, 9:06 am

Wow! absolutely beautiful!

Thanks Cola….yeh, this combination took my breath away! Fran

Susie July 17, 2009, 6:53 pm

Never thought of a Lotus on the ground. Great combo, love the photos!

Thanks Susie- I know…goes to show that the world of horticulture/gardening is endless!! Fran