Oct. 28 2013 02:37 PM

In our new eco-green sustainable world, here are a few ideas for conserving water. They are plants you can walk on and are attractive additions to pathways. These low-lying perennials can withstand heavy foot traffic, release pleasant odors when crushed, smother weeds, and cushion your step.

They are called steppables, or walkable plants. They generally are defined as creeping plants that don’t exceed 12 inches in height, said John Schroeder, president of Valleybrook International Ventures Inc. in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

“You can use them for all kinds of applications,” said Kathy Gurnee, owner of Green Thumb Landscaping in Clinton, Washington. “Use them on patios, pathways, rock walls and crevices or in lieu of bark, as they make good groundcover. I like them around the bottoms of trees,” she said. They’re also good for living roofs and living walls and deliver a beautiful resilience.”

“I like them for lawn repair or replacement,” said Schroeder. He adds that he stripped 900 square feet of turf grass from his own front yard and replaced it with creeping mazus, a dense, ground-hugging plant. “It gave me an inch-thick, lawn-like cover that requires no mowing. It just needs some trimming and weeding around the edges,” he said.

Many are drought-resistant, and perform well in shade, hard-to-maintain slopes; also think of them spilling from containers or protecting high-use areas.