Installing hardscaping in your yard can be a great way to reduce maintenance. But the main problem with hardscaping is that it looks too...well, too hard. As a solution, folks sometimes mix plants and hardscaping together -- the plants will take the "rough edges," if you will, off the hardscaping. You can find all sorts of examples of this "marriage made in the yard," including:
- Window boxes that soften the harsh lines of decks
- Container gardens and container-grown trees used on patios
- A grass strip left to run up the center of a driveway
But one of the most complete integrations of hardscaping and plants comes when we plant some sort of ground cover in between the stepping stones in our gardens or lawns. "Creeping plants, fillers, paving plants... What do you call those plants that seem to ooze between bricks and cracks and make themselves at home across the lawn?" asks Marie Iannotti. No matter what you call them, here's the important feature they all share: they hold up to a fair amount of foot traffic. See some examples of such plants you can walk on in these pictures from About's Gardening Guide.
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