In our quest to create peaceful garden spaces in my yard, one of the plants we chose for a shady area under a maple tree was Japanese spurge (also known as Pachysandra Terminalis). Over the past few years I did not tend to the spurge plants as well as I should have, and they languished a bit while I pursued a doctorate.
This year I vowed to revitalize the spurge garden, and I have been regularly watering their space. I also filled in some thin areas with a dozen new spurge plants, and I think the small shade garden is starting to prosper.
When properly tended, Japanese spurge provides a dense ground cover, and the plant produces white flowers in the early spring. Several patches still managed to thrive in the years that I paid the garden inadequate attention, and they have started to send out shoots with new plants for the first time in years.
I am also adding nutrient-rich leaf mulch to the spurge garden to help with moisture retention and to add a bit of acidic pH to the soil. The tree under which the plants grow is a notorious consumer of moisture and nutrient, but even my best efforts to neglect these plants could not kill the garden.