The plants we refer to as groundcovers are great multi-taskers! We find them replacing lawns, preventing erosion, shading sensitive roots and substituting for mulch.
Any plant that spreads to cover the ground is considered in this category. Good soil and regular watering help the young plants become well-established. Some grow faster, some slower. After the first season, the annual light fertilization will be quite adequate. Spring cleanup would naturally include a trimming and general tidying.
Don’t forget other perennials that may serve the same purposes as those listed in this section. See geranium, dianthus, or sedum, for examples. Check them out!