Weed-Smothering Ground Cover 'Gro-Low' sumac (Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low', zones 3 to 9), and it's not poisonous in the least. Grow it for its glossy blue-green leaves, buttery-yellow spring flowers, fuzzy red fruit in late summer and fire-engine-crimson fall color. This plant is one tough cookie and grows great in shade, but it picks up steam faster with sun and heat —
Part shade - Red Wind Forest Grass - One of the few grasses that thrives in part shade! Only 18-24" tall, its slender leaves form a fountain of bright green and then become suffused with crimson and purple in fall. Beautiful cascading down a shady bank or over a retaining wall. Likes evenly moist soil, but tolerates dry spells. Zones 5-9. 3" pot. Hakonechloa macra 'Beni-kaze'. -
Red Leaf Barberry Hedge. (5 shrubs for 30$). This thorny, brightly colored shrub is the perfect choice to create a barrier against unwanted traffic or to deter deer. Left to grow naturally it has 5-7' spread and height but can be pruned and maintained at a much smaller size.
Red Creeping Thyme, Groundcover For Dry, Full-Sun Areas Red creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum coccineus ) is a heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant ground cover that grows in zones 3 to 9. It likes full sun and grows close to the ground at only two to four-inches tall. It's deer-resistant, too.
Fothergilla ~ A wonderful but underused shade-loving shrub, fothergilla offers blue-green foliage in spring and summer. Its leaves reveal warm shades of gold and orange in fall. And fothergilla has honey-scented springtime flowers to boot.
Red Creeping Thyme ~ Border, Containers, Ground Cover. Just a few inches high, the plant is densely covered with tiny, dark green, shiny leaves that are intensely aromatic when crushed -- plant them between paving stones and enjoy their fragrance every time you pass by. Zone 4 - 9
There are very few ground covers that can be walked-on, but creeping thyme is one of them. So it makes an ideal ground cover to use between stepping stones, near the patio adjoining walkways or around stones and boulders. However, those are not the only uses for this versatile low growing ground cover. Because of its low growth habit, it can be used effectively in the foreground of just about any planting in the landscape. It is especially popular to use in spots where the plants can cascade…
Mixed Carpet Phlox - perennial; grows anywhere, even in poor, dry, sandy soil where other ground covers fail! No other plant spreads so lavishly, needs so little attention and flowers so profusely with so little care. Zones: 3-9 Light: Full Sun to Full Partial Shade
Hostas are among the showiest and easy-to-grow perennials in the shade. They also offer the most variety of any shade plant. Choose from miniatures that stay only a couple of inches wide or giants that sprawl 6 feet across or more. Look for leaves in shades of green, blue, white, chartreuse, and gold, with many cultivars being variegated. Some hosta flowers are very fragrant.