22 Ground Cover Plants Sure to Suit Your Backyard

"For a perennial garden, flowering thyme is such a nice addition because it's both ornamental and edible," says Tara Nolan, author of Gardening Your Front Yard.

Flowering Thyme

White alyssum is a great way to fill in the areas of your garden that aren't already populated by plants and flowers.


This incredibly hardy plant features a lovely red color—hence the name "Dragon's Blood."

Sedum 'Dragon's Blood'

This low-growing plant features succulent, spreading leaves, and striking flowers that open in the sunshine and close when it's shadier.

Delosperma ("Ice Plant")

Dwarf impatiens flank this pathway planted with Soleirolia soleirolii.

Dwarf Impatiens

Also known as Breckland Thyme, this low-growing plant is great for walkways, as it tolerates pedestrian traffic and the leaves, when disturbed, release herbal or lemon scents.

Wild Thyme

The herb Thymus pseudolanuginosus, also called mother of thyme grows into a sturdy, scented carpet of fuzzy gray-green leaves that becomes dotted with miniature light-pink flowers each summer.

Woolly Thyme

Scented Chamaemelum nobile thrives in hot, dry conditions. Cut stems back to two inches from the ground after the plant blooms to maintain its compact form.

Roman Chamomile

The teardrop-shaped, variegated leaves on this drought-tolerant succulent (Sedum album) turned red in autumn. The spikes of white flowers that burst forth each summer are a bonus.

Sedum 'Baby Tears'

Easy-to-grow blue star creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis) produces pale-blue flowers that last from spring through early fall. It spreads quickly in filtered light but can also take full sun.

Blue Star Creeper

The abundant purple flowers of Mazus reptans, also known as creeping blue, bloom in mid-spring and remain through early summer. This drought-tolerant plant can also be grown in full sun.

Creeping Mazus

A variety of the moderately spreading Dianthus gratianopolitanus, featuring blue-green foliage and clove-scented pink flowers. It requires relatively little water.

Dianthus 'Sternkissen'