Plant Vinca major, sometimes called periwinkle, or Vinca minor, for an evergreen ground cover in shady or wooded areas. Both will bloom, starting in the spring, and both can spread aggressively under the right conditions. Some states list one or both as invasive, so check to see if there are planting restrictions in your area. Shown here: Vinca reticulata, an annual trailing plant for containers or landscapes that is hardy in zones 7 to 10.
A living mulch is a type of low-growing ground cover that blankets soil like a mulch. In this garden, golden creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) is the living mulch. Other plants that work well as living mulches include alpine strawberry, low juniper, vinca vine or short mints like Corsican mint. Be careful with living mulches that root along stems as they grow. These types of plants can easily become invasive and even try to overgrow lawns.