Three groundcovers FOR SHADY SPOTS
1 Hypoestes forskaolii
produces dainty flowers from autumn into winter. Indigenous, it attracts bees and butterflies and can reach knee height.
The lowdown: It can take some sun, but will grow in dry shady areas. Feed and water it regularly to keep it thriving.
2 Viola hederacea
from Australia has pretty blue and purple violet-like flowers held well above a thick carpet of green leaves for much of the year.
The lowdown: Plant it in moisture-retaining soil in shade/semishade under trees; it grows easily from rooted sections.
3 Lamium maculatum
has variegated green and silver leaves that brighten up shady areas.
The pretty pink flowers are a bonus. Other hybrids with different leaf patterns and flowers are available.
The lowdown: Shade loving, it likes moist, well-drained soil and tolerates mild frost.