One of the stars of my front garden in winter is this amazing groundcover; Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Streib’s Findling’. Hardy to -20F and native to central China, this evergreen shrub hugs the ground like melted cheese on a pizza.
I wanted a tough, deer resistant plant to tuck into the corner between my driveway and front walk. One that wouldn’t be snapped by a hose being dragged across it and that would survive a little foot traffic, as it’s bound to be stepped upon.
Streib’s Findling certainly performs well in less than hospitable circumstances, growing a dense mat of olive-green foliage that takes on a reddish tint in cold weather. The delicate white blossoms in late spring are attractive to bees and the small red berries hold well throughout the winter, providing colour during the drab months.
Occasionally a determined weed manages to germinate and grow despite this groundcover’s smothering mat of foliage, but they are easy enough to pull. I’m beginning to wonder how far across the cement driveway and walkway the cotoneaster will spread. I may need to do a little judicious pruning if it keeps going or visitors could be tripped up on their way to my front door!
With its small leaves and prostrate habit this cotoneaster would probably make an excellent bonsai, perhaps I’ll take some cuttings and experiment. I do believe that if I had a likely wall to plant atop, Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Streib’s Findling’ would make a lovely cascading show. But for now I’ll enjoy it as a living carpet in my “front room”.