Posted: 26/05/2012 at 18:10
You could try ajuga, available in a number of leaf colours. This forms a dense mat that nothing can get through but, like all ground-cover plants, it will crawl over low plants, too, so you have to keep an eye on it. It is no problem with shrubs, though, and easy to remove.
Whatever you do, don't be tempted to use ivy, as that will kill everything in its path, including shrubs, as many commercial plantings will testify.