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Life After Lawn: See blue with speedwell

Georgia Blue speedwell, a hybrid veronica, creates a lush-looking, 6- to 8-inch-tall ground cover studded with cobalt blue flowers – mostly in spring, sometimes after.
Georgia Blue speedwell, a hybrid veronica, creates a lush-looking, 6- to 8-inch-tall ground cover studded with cobalt blue flowers – mostly in spring, sometimes after.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well-adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Georgia Blue speedwell

Veronica umbrosa “Georgia Blue”

Size: Forms a mat 6 to 8 inches tall that spreads to several feet wide

Bloom season: Cobalt blue flowers in spring with occasional blooms in summer and fall

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Pruning needs: None

Water needs: Medium water; once established, irrigate once a week or twice a month

Snapshot: Turn that former turf area into a carpet of Georgia blue. This creeping ground cover produces attractive deep blue flowers in spring. In winter, the bright green foliage reddens to an interesting mix of bronze and maroon. Speedwell is perfect for the front area of planting beds or as a companion to bulbs and deciduous shrubs such as roses.

Plant sale: The arboretum teaching nursery will host its first 2016 membership appreciation sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. New members can join at the door.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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