Tough as Nails Groundcover…….Vinca minor aka Periwinkle or Myrtle
The Genus name comes from the Latin meaning to bind or wind around as do the long flexible stems that were used in wreath making.
If you are looking for a really tough groundcover for that difficult spot in your landscape, Vinca is a great choice, I have planted them from small 3” pots in the dead of a hot summer, watered them at that time and then never again other than rainfall. They always survive and thrive. They will grow in full sun to dense shade.
The photo shows a stand of vinca growing on a very steep slope on the edge of my property that borders the road. My neighbor across the road has a similar bank eroding and filled with assorted weeds lending to a very messy look that must be dealt with by using a weed eater. On our side the Vinca offers stability and a much neater look with dark green foliage forming a tight carpet of groundcover.
Photo credit: Mollivan Jon on VisualHunt.com /CC BY-NC
Purple flowers are displayed in the spring offering an extra bonus. The plant tends to be evergreen although it may lose some leaves in especially harsh winters. It’s striking to see the flush of new leaves emerge during the spring season along with the flowers. I am also using this plant in another location as a groundcover among larger trees and shrubs in a shadier dry garden. Again this offers a thick fast spreading carpet that will choke out most other weeds keeping maintenance to a minimum.