|My husband and I are looking for plants to cover a bank. Specifically, we are looking for a perennial groundcover that thrives in clay-like soil, can withstand high temps, give some fragrance and can stand full sun from morning to early evening. I've looked at Phlox, but we need quite a few plants or something that would spread rapidly and hold our bank together. Does anything like this exist?|
|The most common plant for covering a bank is crownvetch (Coronilla varia). This fast-growing plant will quickly cover sunny banks, preventing erosion and choking out weeds. It thrives in most any soil. Crownvetch is covered with lavender-pink flowers all summer. Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is another option--it forms deep roots to help stabilize banks. Both of these, however, are a little "wild" looking--like a meadow. If you were hoping for something more formal looking, you could try creeping juniper (though this plant generally prefers a sandier soil), daylilies, wooly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa) or Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia--very vigorous, can be invasive.)|
The plants you choose should depend on how significant the erosion threat is (how steep the bank is), how quickly you need coverage, whether you want continuous flowering, how formal a look you want, and how much maintenance you will do. I wold not recommend phlox, as it prefers a shadier setting. Hope this helps!