Q. Can you recommend a ground cover that will thrive for shady and hard clay areas?
Due to tree roots and how compact the soil is, I am not really able to dig down very far.
Pachysandra and vinca (periwinkle) always come to mind as easy, useful groundcovers for shady areas. Epimediums and asaurms (wild ginger) are also wonderful ground covers, but they need better soil conditions than pachsandra or vinca. All of these plants, however, would benefit from some soil amendment by adding humus to enrich the soil and create drainage before you plant. With patience, these plants can provide lovely, longlasting groundcover. Good luck.