Native Ground Cover
Plants that spread to cover the ground are referred to as groundcovers. Groundcovers are important elements in the well-designed garden. They fill the blank spaces of our beds and borders, and help unify our plantings. Usually this term denotes low-growing plants, but groundcovers can also refer to taller, spreading shrubs or trees that grow together to create a dense cover of vegetation.
On the University of Delaware website there is a factsheet entitled ‘Groundcover Alternatives to Turf Grass’. This fact sheet includes instructions on planting and maintaining groundcovers as well as a detailed list of native groundcovers appropriate for Delaware: http://ag.udel.edu/udbg/sl/vegetation/Groundcovers.pdf
Another resource on the UD website is a series of documents entitled ‘Livable Delaware’, covering a variety of plant and environmental conditions. The booklet on ‘Livable Plants for the Home Landscape’ has a section specifically addressing gardening in dry shade including plant recommendations. This information can be found at: