If you’ve ever grown a Three Sisters garden, then it should come as no surprise that pumpkins, winter squash, and melons (Cucurbitaceae family) make excellent ground covers for large open spaces.
It’s true that you would need several plants to harvest a single cup of alpine strawberries. But, I promise that it is worth the effort once you’ve tasted them!
The heart-shaped leaves, petite yellow flowers, and immature green seed pods can all be eaten fresh, used as seasonings for salads and sauces, or steeped in hot water and sweetened with honey to make wood sorrel tea.
As a ground cover, it stays a brilliant green year-round and the clumps can be lifted, divided, and replanted elsewhere when you need to fill in some space in your garden beds.
Herbs like oregano are ideal for in-ground garden beds that see some foot traffic. This type of ground cover can tolerate a little trampling and still be effective as an ornamental and edible plant.