Juniper as ground cover?

Hi,
We live in the Northern Virginia area (near DC) and have a hilly area off of our front porch (it goes downhill from our walkway) that is partial shade. One side of the hill is the front of the house/foundation, and there's a grassy area at the bottom of the hill.
We had originally had planted some Vinca on the hillside, and it seemed to do pretty well for about 3 years, but weeds (some kind of grass) have taken over. We chose the Vinca originally because we wanted ground cover that wouldn't invade into the grassy area at the bottom of the hill or damage the front/foundation. Also, we have a lot of deer roaming around, and my wife wanted something that they wouldn't completely devour.
Anyway, it seems like the Vinca won't do well in that area, so we're thinking of digging it up, putting in some new top soil, and planting some Juniper (the spreading kind).
Can anyone tell me if this would be a good or bad choice? Will the Juniper invade the grass area and/or damage the front wall/foundation?
Thanks in advance, Jim
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Not the best choice - junipers really prefer an area that gets full sun. Much shade and they get a tendency to fungal disease called tip blight, specially the groundcover forms.They will also be leggy and sparsely foliaged. Japanese spurge or Pachysandra terminalis is an evergreen groundcover that does very well in shade. It is taller, denser and faster growing than the vinca, so will supress weeds better. And it is supposed to be deer resistant, although deer can eat anything if they are curious or hungry enough.
pam - gardengal
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Hi Pam,
Thanks. We'll take a look at that. What about the grassy area and the foundation/wall? Will the Pachysandra be a problem with respect to that?
We had originally considered "crown vetch", but after doing some searching, we nixed that because it is apparently really invasive (into the grass), and we did not want that.
Would the Pachysandra be ok?
We're still kind of puzzling over what happened to the Vinca. It was really doing well for a number of years, then all of a sudden this spring, "Bam!", it was being overwhelmed.
Thanks, Jim
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wrote:

*I* can send you some Vinca that will choke out *anything* else, but...
You might want to check on the drought tolerance of the juniper you pant to use. Inexperienced landscapers installed half-a-dozen at my house (200mi south of you) and they were all dead within 3 years after a couple of dry summers.
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And after ten years when they are just way too big, call your local bonsai group and someone will come dig them out and haul them off for you :>)
John

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I got very low ground hugging juniper and love the look with mulch underneath. Ingrid

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