Hi again, Sonja: It was almost midnight last night, when I posted the previous post. Therefore I cut it short. The gist of what I am trying to say is, that ground cover vs. larger perennials or shrubs is not an either-or proposition. Both can complement and compliment each other to provide weed protection through ground cover as well as attractive foliage. As an example of what I am talking about please go to: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=41234 and scroll down to post#18, where the yellow 'Angelina' serves as GC backdrop for the black lace elder 'Eva'. The planting was about a month old, when I took the picture, therefore the 'Angelina has not yet established a 'carpet', and it is not much older now, so an update is not yet indicated At another section of the same landscaping patch I have planted carpet roses (http://northerngrown.net/special/flowercarpet.htm) over top of another developing carpet of 'snow in summer' (cerastium tomentosum), betting that both the white flowers as well as the silver foliage of the 'snow' will set off the green and the red of the roses beautifully. All these plants are, in keeping with their location, sun lovers, but similar effects can be achieved with shade tolerant plants, such as 'vinca minor - illumination', 'creeping jenny' as well as the sedum makinoi 'ogon', which Janet Doyle mentioned in her post#9 above. These could be contrasted with slope stabilizing perennials with the dark green to purple leaves like 'cimicifuga' and 'chinese rhubarb' and if you have really deep shade, 'ligularia przewalskii' will provide good contrast. For shrubs there are always the old standbys from the rhododendron family as well as various fuchsias, hibiscus and hydrangea.