Vines and groundcovers form the floor, walls and ceiling of outdoor spaces. They also often make striking accent plants in your landscape design.
Groundcovers may be vining plants sheared to form a low growing carpet, or short statured non-vining plants grouped closely together to create a similar effect. Groundcovers are especially useful in shady areas where turfgrass cannot thrive. Some are also adapted to sunny locations. Groundcovers are useful in a landscape to break up the predominant feature of lawn areas, adding a different texture, color, height or design form to the outdoor area.
Vines are underutilized in our landscapes. They are useful for covering a fence, shading a western wall, covering an overhead arbor or adorning a tree trunk or porch post. Evergreen vines may help screen a view. Flowering vines bring color and many attract butterflies or hummingbirds.
We refer to some vines as woody because their above ground parts remain year after year, while others are perennial, dying to the ground in winter to return again in spring. Some are cold tender tropicals and others we refer to as annuals, because they must be replanted or reseeded each year.
For a list of recommended vines and groundcovers for Austin and Central Texas, please refer to the GrowGreen Native and Adapted Landscape guide. You can find a copy at most local nurseries or search the online plant database.