Our plant of the month is Viola hederacea (Native violet), a ground cover that spreads from runners. It has kidney shaped leaves and white and purple flowers. A damp position in a shady spot is preferable and it looks lovely trailing from a hanging basket. Image Mary Boyce
Ground covers are a living mulch. They have similar benefits to mulch, such as inhibiting weeds and retaining soil moisture, but in addition provide visual interest.
Ground covers vary in height from around a metre to ground hugging. Some form a thick mat, some ramble, while others clump.
If different types of ground cover are used, the result will be a range of forms, textures, leaf shapes and colours.
Consider your site and the effect you want to create in choosing your ground covers and allow space for the different plants to grow and spread at their own pace, as planting a vigorous creeper beside a slow clumper might cause the demise of the latter.