Lots of plants – no room for weeds
Living plants act in the same way as mulches to prevent weeds – by blocking access to light. Any low-growing, spreading plant, either woody or herbaceous, can be used, some being better than others. A few weeds will always appear through gaps – especially in the early years. On occasion, the ground cover itself may become a nuisance.
Commonly used ground cover plants include hardy geranium, St John’s wort, vinca, ivy, ajuga, lamium, acaena and bergenia. But any plant that spreads to cover the ground with foliage can be considered as ground cover and this means most perennial flowers and shrubs.
The principle is to cover the soil with desirable plants to deny weeds the space, moisture, light and nutrients they need. If garden plants are well planted and cared for until they are established, they will compete strongly with weeds, and greatly reduce the effort of weeding.