Since my log cabin property is on a ridge slope in the mountains of north Georgia, I will not be considering grass as a groundcover. However, I will want to beautify part of my land surface, especially in front of the cabin, with green plants. Just like trees, I will be selecting plants that are native to the area. I have discovered through research that there are two ground cover plants that I am familiar with from my days in Connecticut, that also do well in north Georgia.
The first is pachysandra which is pictured above. I had a small back yard at my property in Connecticut that was shaded most of the day. The grass didn’t fare well. I covered the grass with topsoil and planted a bunch of pachysandra a foot apart. The pachysandra thrived in the shade and eventually the roots spread and filled in the entire area with the 6 inch tall green leafed plants as shown above. Our log cabin’s front lawn will be pachysandra.
I wish I could say that pachysandra is maintenance free. You don’t have to mow but you do have to remove the fall leaves. A rake is not very practical. A leaf blower is the common solution. I used a leaf vacuum/chopper that cut the leaves into small pieces. The chopped up leaves can be turned relatively quickly into compost for garden fertilizer.
The second plant type I have used is juniper pictured above. Juniper is an evergreen cover that spreads itself along the ground as it grows. The juniper is more of a sun loving plant.
In addition to my two favorites, there are a number of alternatives. These include non living covers or hardscape such as mulch, gravel and stone. There is also an assortment of flowering deciduous plants. Showy evening primrose and creeping verbena are two examples pictured below. Low growing shrubs and ornamental grasses can be used as well.