The essential ground cover perennials
Among all the plants playing this role, we have chosen those which, edible, can be added to a salad or a herbal quiche. No need to remember that you only taste those whose identification is certain, so as not to poison yourself!
In the shade or in partial shade, the lungwort, with their diversity, often play the stars, accompanied by dead nettle, ajuga, ground ivy, mint or woodruff.
Some, very invasive, have their place in the hedge: they do not hinder the growth of shrubs, and to curb them, it is enough to pass the mower if they pretend to escape from the place which is assigned to them. This is the case of comfrey, wild garlic, triquetrum garlic, houttuynia, aegopod.
In the sun or in partial shade, the wild strawberries delight nibblers, young and old.
Aegopodium podagraria. Taste weed – its name due to its use as a medicinal plant – blooms in small white umbels in early summer. It is lovely in its variegated form: Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’ .. In the kitchen: finely chopped, it perfumes salads or soups, with a flavor close to coriander.
Wild garlic -Allium ursinum- and garlic triquetrum -Allium triquetrum– are to be married: the first is in vegetation from March to June, while the second continues to produce its foliage while the wild garlic is already sleeping. As intrusive as the other, it is enough to let them fight on the allotted territory so that they take turns delighting us. If the foliage is used, like flowers, in salads, it also turns into pesto.
Ajuga, Ajuga reptans, que is sometimes called bugle, well placed on the ground, lines perfectly, with its glazed foliage and its purple blue ears. There are many cultivars, with purple or variegated foliage. The leaves enrich our salads. Cooked, they mingle with leafy vegetables.
Asperula, Gallium odoratum, is a little wonder. The foliage appears in April, followed by white florets. The whole smell of hay and almonds emerges. It is in infusion, in milk to prepare desserts, or in white wine to concoct a nice aperitif, that you can use it.
Comfrey is too runner? Precisely that is why we love him. Planted wisely, it stretches as it wants. Is it overflowing on the lawn? A stroke of the mower, and voila! There are many varieties. We particularly like Symphytum azureum… in azure blue! The leaves are eaten in donuts, the flowers decorate the dishes… what more could you ask for? Oh yes, stems and leaves make an excellent liquid manure, fertilizer, insect repellant and compost activator.
Wild strawberries. These small strawberries settle and reseed themselves everywhere, in the sun as in partial shade. They are in flower from March to November, and it is possible to peck the berries until the onset of winter.
Houttuynia cordata. Here is an invasive plant in fresh soil, much wiser in dry soil. The foliage gives off scents and flavors that some people hate, and that others love with its notes of bitter tangerine. The chiseled leaves bring an exotic touch to the dishes.
Cutter. Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’, for example, illuminates shaded areas with its silvery foliage and immaculate flowers. All the cutters can be eaten.
Ground ivy. This creeping plant has leaves in small downy, crenellated, green hearts, sometimes with a purple-violet underside, and blue-violet flowers blooming from March. Flowers and leaves give off a pleasant balsamic scent. A smell and flavor of mint mixed with oregano, with a hint of bitterness. There is one variety, Glechoma hederacea ‘Variegata’, with green leaves marbled with creamy white. Leaves and flowers are added to salads and fresh cheeses. Cooked, the leaves lift the dishes.
The mint pouillot. In cool soil, do not deprive yourself of Mentha pulegium. What a joy to tread on this fragrant ground cover plant, especially when it is blooming, in lilac flowers.
The Pulmonary is a perfect ground cover at the foot of roses or small shrubs that it highlights. Flowers appear early in spring, leaves hairy, often spotted, dotted or silver spattered. Let’s not forget that we can eat leaves and flowers!