Need English Ivy replacement in shade Metro DC
We moved into a house that has a sloping backyard populated by beech trees with high rising root systems and English ivy, forsythia, azalea, and the invasive Asian honeysuckle tree. We pruned the beech trees to allow a very small amount of sun, but they are 50-75 years old so we're not cutting them. We love the azaleas and have added to that. I clear English ivy and wild rose whenever I get a chance, but
I NEED TO PLANT WHERE I TAKE OUT THE IVY....ASAP.
We've tried Allegheny pachysandra and peaberry -- both native to our woodlands area and very slow growing. We have a good stand of native may apple which I hope will spread. We found some Virginia sweetspire and chelone on freecycle, planted them in the fall, and have hopes despite the fact that everything is still under three feet of snow.
Any other suggestions? The area slopes to Rock Creek, so we would like to absorb as much water as we can; the soil is dense clay but we have been building it up by composting leaves and creating some natural log terracing to add to the humus content; we do have a few patches of crocus which surface the spring after we've ripped out an area of ivy.
Forgot to add....I am increasingly allergic to poison ivy, so my husband has tried to pull as much of that as we find, but it seems to spread each year!
Thanks in advance to the wonderful participants in this forum, Lisa