I love groundcovers in general, but if I can eat the fruit or cook with the herbs, even better!
Emerald Carpet raspberries (Rubus pentalobus) are a fairly quick-growing groundcover. They are ideal in that they are evergreen, thrive in shade or sun (hurrah!), and are native to the mountains of Taiwan, meaning they can tolerate the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest (zones 6-10).
As I’m still trying to fill in the grass area that I picked out around our Douglas firs last year, and it is hard to find groundcover that are shade-tolerant, I decided to try my hand with these carpet raspberries.
I bought three plants, and laid them out in the approximate area I wanted to plant.
Next, I dug out holes, about three times the width of the plants in diameter, and1-2 inches deeper than the plant. Because the area under the Douglas firs are in a rain canopy and incredibly dry, I decided to add ultra-rich and moisture-retaining compost to the holes, to help the raspberries retain moisture under the rain shadow of the trees that towered above.
I surrounded the plants with a mixture of compost and soil from under the tree, and then filled in the remainder of the holes with the native soil. The plants are drought tolerant, once established, and will produce fruit in July. Pics of fruit coming mid-summer!