When we use the word mulch, we conjure up images of shredded eucalyptus waste, chopped sugar cane and even coloured pebbles. We seldom think of nature’s own living mulches: the low growing plants that spread over the soil. These not only do a good job of retaining moisture, keeping soil cool and preventing weed growth, they add an attractive layer of plants to the garden.
Spend some time choosing the right plants to do this job. Aspect is important. For example, is the ground cover going to be growing under large trees? If so, it will need to be shade tolerant and may also have to cope with competition from the tree roots. Getting the right look is also something to consider. For example, native ground covers will complement a largely native garden but may look odd growing amongst flowery cottage plants.