Ground cover for shady area?

Just had a lot of weeds cleared out of an area in back of the yard, which has a lemon tree partially shading it (more or less, depending on season; angle of sun).
Would like to plant ground cover which would, I hope:
1. Tolerate partial shade
2. Have some flowers, even if only seasonal
3. Propagate rapidly.
This is Southern Calif coastal; mild Mediterranean climate.
Suggestions welcome!
(or should I just cover area with large piece bark and scatter a few pots around?)
HB
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On Mon, 6 Dec 2010 14:24:56 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson

It's not either or... plant thyme, oregano, and scatter pots about.
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On Dec 6, 4:07 pm, Brooklyn1 <Gravesend1> wrote:

True. Thanks.
Thyme, I know, flourishes in almost any conditions, but I haven't had the same luck with oregano.
Anybody planted these as ground cover in shade areas?
Dave's Garden recently suggested Phlox. Here's a site: http://www.gardenguides.com/180-phlox-garden-basics-flower-perennial.html
Whaddya think?
Other solutions? (pref. not very expensive)
Mucho TIA
HB
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

I've seen lots of phlox covering the hillsides in So.CA. It's pretty from a distance when it's in bloom.
We have a bed of purple-flowered vinca vine in an area that's shaded much of the day. It is also very pretty when in bloom (and evergreen.)
There are many varieties of ice plant that do well in your climate. Do they require much sun?
gloria p
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On 12/6/10 6:37 PM, gloria.p wrote:

Ice plant does best with full sun. Some, such as 'Red Apple', can become invasive.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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What about plain old Hostas?
--
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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Neither thyme nor oregano will do well in much shade, I'd look at vinca minor, lamium, various saxifraga, some hardy geraniums, asarum (wild ginger) or lirope or ophiopogon. Hostas are a great choice.
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Gar>
Thank you; I will check into these.
I took a quick look at Hostas in Wikipedia. It says they are subject to damage by snails and slugs. Same info at a Moss Phlox site re: slugs if soil is too moist. ****Does this mean that shade ground cover IN GENERAL is subject to snail and slug infestation? Or all ground cover? Inquiring minds...****
My soil in the target area is not too moist; in fact So.Cal is dry. So I might take a chance on some moss phlox. I just want to be reasonably sure what I'm in for, as it will be a LOT of work adding compost and otherwise modifying the soil in approx 15 x 5 area. Or maybe less if I scatter pots about, as someone suggested.
Sorry for thinking aloud <g> I just called local nursery.. Plant guy thought Moss Phlox would do fine, but wait 3 months before putting in. He also suggested Pink Clover or Ornamental Strawberries, which can be put in now. All three would spread out.
REPLY to Garden Gal: You asked if ice plant does well in my area. I assume so, as I see a LOT of it around.
Any more input welcome. Recap: Want ground cover for partly shaded area in So. Calif. Coastal.
TIA
HB
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On 12/8/10 11:41 AM, Higgs Boson wrote [in part]:

Pink clover (Persicaria capitata) is not a clover at all. It has little pink flowers that resemble the flowers of white clover. My entire front lawn and my rose bed in back are both planted with pink clover. There are some flowers all year long with the most in the summer.
This ground cover is relatively drough-tolerant once it is established. It forms a mat about 1 ft thick. The edges need to be trimmed several times a year; otherwise, it can be invasive.
It does tolerate some shade.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Hostas like moist areas, so this may or may not have been a bad choice on my part. I went just by the title "Ground cover for shady area". Almost every plant in existence has a specific bug that that eats it. Hostas and slugs, Roses and Japanese beetles and so on. Slugs can be taken care of with a Product called Sluggo, a relatively safe product. Now getting rid of Japanese Beetles is more costly.
For me Gardening is one big experiment. Some plants grow well in an area and some not so well. If the plant thrives with few problems, cool. If the plant has problems thriving or having pest problems, get rid of the plant.
If you like gardening... You may want to consider... Annuals. I like annuals over perennials. Annuals have much fewer problems than perennials and look nicer over a single season than perennials. But I am not sure about how well they will grow in your area. For annual ground covers I like impatiens. In warm climates impatiens are perennials.
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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On Wed, 8 Dec 2010 23:38:19 +0000 (UTC), Dan L

Ferns can work well too.
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On 12/8/10 3:38 PM, Dan L wrote:

If hostas like moist soil, don't plant them close to your lemon tree. Citrus in the ground does best if the soil gets dry between watering. Your tree will suffer if the soil in its root zone is constantly moist.
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Climate: California Mediterranean
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On 12/6/10 4:07 PM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Oregano can become as invasive as mint, to which it is related.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On 12/6/10 2:24 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Vinca minor -- about 1 ft thick, blue flowers (be careful it's not V. major)
cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana, also known as P. verna) -- very close to the ground, yellow flowers
Hahn's ivy (Helix hedera 'Hahn's') -- about 1 ft thick, a dwarf form of English ivy
However, don't plant anything in the root zone of the lemon. It's not good for the lemon.
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Climate: California Mediterranean
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