Open sweeps of lawn are a large part of most home landscapes, but imagine turning those stretches of lawn into striking swathes of beautifully planted ground covers. Barbara W. Ellis explores hundreds of wonderful possibilities in her new guide, helping readers create eyecatching splashes of color and texture in unexpected places. More than just broad expanses of a single plant, ground covers can bring a fresh look to dozens of landscaping challenges and opportunities. Flowering plants, herbs, mosses, groundhugging shrubs, and heathers, planted singly or in creative combinations, can cover all sorts of ground situations with unexpected drama and add an elegant, professional look to otherwise dull and ordinary areas. Additionally, hardscape lawn alternatives such as bluestone, crushed gravel, brick, or shredded bark mulch introduce pathways and help create defined borders. Working with the theory that ground covers should be hardworking as well as beautiful, Part One, Rolling Out the Carpet, inspires readers with low-maintenance, creative ideas. Simplify lawn mowing by filling in awkward corners with easy-to-care-for colorful plants. Edge walkways to keep them neat and attractive. Use broad drifts to control erosion along streams. Ground covers can fit anywhere. Part Two, Landscaping with Ground Covers, matches plants to specific site requirements. Looking for herbs hardy enough to thrive between stepping stones? Shrubby plants that tolerate full sun? Native ferns for a woodland floor or moss gardens for acid shade? Ellis has all the answers and the experience to combine appropriate plants in stunning combinations. Part Three includes in-depth how-to for planting, growing, and propagating, with special emphasis on site preparation, plant selection, and weed control. From single-plant drifts to unexpected plant combinations and new uses for natural hardscaping, ground covers are an exciting, low maintenance alternative to traditional lawns.