Ground Cover Garden: A Living Carpet of Foliage and Flowers
The Ground Cover Garden links the Visitor Center to the Administration and Research Center and the Sterling Morton Library. The original garden was built in 1938. It is one of the more densely planted and diverse gardens in the Arboretum, with over 350 different plants present in a comparatively small space.
The Ground Cover Garden consists of perennial ground covers interplanted among woody trees and shrubs. Plants are chosen to complement the woody plants in the garden and blanket the ground with a wonderful assortment of attractive flowers and foliage. Among the many important attributes considered when choosing a new ground cover for the garden are flowers, foliage, size when mature, hardiness, light requirements, and pest/disease resistance. With a number of mature trees in the garden, lighting conditions vary, allowing visitors to observe different plant choices for full sun, partial shade, and full shade conditions.
There is always something to see in the garden, whether it be Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in spring, Asian fleece flower (Polygonum polymorphum) in summer, zebra silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis'Zebrinus') in fall, or winter red common winterberry (Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red') during the winter months.