Homeowners and landscapers face many problems, not the least of which are areas that are difficult to mow but need to look good. This includes short but steep slopes, larger, gentler embankments, and large swathes of flat or rolling ground. Such areas cry out for an evergreen groundcover that will slow erosion by forming a thick mat of roots and foliage to prevent the germination of weeds.

Forget the traditional three – Hedera helix (Ivy), Pachysandra, and Vinca minor (Myrtle) – and try one of the following suggestions.

Arabis caucasica foliage-davesgarden.com
Arabis caucasica is interplanted with spring bulbs, Narcissus
  ‘Tiny Bubbles’ and Anemone blanda white and blue.

Arabis caucasica (Rockcress) has felty, gray-green foliage that is scalloped and spreads over the ground in no time at all. It has magenta, lavender-pink or white flowers, depending on the cultivar, from April to the middle of May and is only two inches high. Shear back slightly after blooming to keep it from sprawling. Grow in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil.

Geranium cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo Karmina’; 18405 east bed ; 6/5/14

Geranium cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ or ‘Biokovo Karmina’ has small lobed leaves that form a tight mat that becomes tinged with red in the fall and remains that way all winter. In May and June, its six inch high flowers are pale pink or bright pink depending on the cultivar. Even after the long blooming flowers (four to six weeks depending on the temperature) lose their petals, the red calyces remain for another month. Grow in full sun to partial shade in average to moist soil.  Another hardy geranium that is particularly useful is Geranium macrorrhizum (Big Root Geranium) because it will thrive in heavily shaded, dry areas. Its foliage is twice as large as that of the previous Geranium and is more deeply lobed.  The pink flowers bloom at the same time as those of G.cantabrigiense

Campanula poscharkyana

Campanula poscharkyana (Serbian Bellflower) has heart-shaped leaves that grow on long runners and bear star-shaped lavender flowers from the beginning of May through the first week of July. Grow this one in full sun or partial shade in average to dry soil. It will do very well among the roots of trees. Mine originally cavorted happily under an old dogwood. When the dogwood died, I transplanted the Campanula to a container beside my side door. Happily, it seeded into the gravel bed beneath.

Lamiastrum galeobdolon under my Magnolias.

The strands of Lamiastrum galeobdolon (Yellow Archangel, Golden Dead Nettle) will root wherever they touch the ground so save this one for very large shady spaces. The green and white variegated foliage will wind in and out of tree trunks and other plants. Although slow to establish, it will spread more quickly if initially irrigated. Short yellow flowers pop up in May but deadheading is not necessary.

So, give the old threesome a rest and try something different!