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I garden in the Pacific Northwest zone 8b where so many plants are happy to set root. Here are a few favorite groundcovers. I call them all favorites–the way Babe the Pig’s mom calls them all Babe. So there’s that.

Azorella trifurcata ‘Nana’


1. Azorella is REALLY one of my favorites. It’s so springy when you touch. And though it looks prickly, it doesn’t bite at all.

Sempervivum, Arorella trifurcata, and no i.d. Grass


2. And aren’t Sempervivums the best. They grow darn near everywhere and mingle nicely. I always mean to keep track of which is which. But I do not.


3. Hakonechloa aka Japanese Forest Grass

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ aka Golden Japanese Forest Grass


Japanese Forest Grass is fabulous as it fades too.

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ fading into winder–and still looking grand


I don’t remember a lot of ornamental grasses in peeps gardens as a kid, but sure glad we see them now. So luscious. When they wave their little blade hands in the air, positively swoon-worthy.


4. Then Black Mondo Grass. LOVE this one too. You can tuck it in anywhere. It forms a nice colony. I have a big grouping out front, and thought I share bits now and then, I’m kind of attached to every glorious blade.

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Kokuryu’ aka Black Mondo Grass


The photo above was taken in Gail Barnard’s. Lake Oswego, OR garden. Alas, she and her husband have moved to the Oregon Coast and started a brand new garden. Gail was kind enough to share many plants–and pottery–from her garden before she moved. Plant lusters all over the area are now enjoying a a bit of Gail’s former delights. (See more of Gail’s garden–and many other gems–in Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest)

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Kokuryu’ aka Black Mondo Grass — with winter frost.


Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Kokuryu’ aka Black Mondo — adorable en masse or as a singleton.


5. Another Ophiopogon that I love love love, and have had great success with is O. ‘Pamela Harper’. She seems happy here, there, anywhere–with a little shade and occasional water. So giddy when I come across her in a place I’d forgotten; but there she is, looking fantastic.

Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Pamela Harper’ aka Pamela Harper Variegated Mondo Grass


Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Pamela Harper’


Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Pamela Harper’


6. I could go on and on about ferns, but I still have so much to learn. And there are so many to talk about. This Ruffled Hart’s Tongue Fern is not bad, no?

Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Angustatum’ aka Ruffled Hart’s Tongue Fern


Wishing you a wonderful fall, with many many groovy groundcovers.