Answer: Plants perform best when grown in a suitable climate. You're in USDA zone 8, or Sunset Western Garden Book's zone 5. The growing season extends from March through October, with average low temperatures of 20F to 30F degrees. Perennials that tolerate shade and provide erosion control would include vining or creeping plants like Vinca minor, Lamium, Fragaria (wild strawberry), Ivy, Saxifrage and Campanula portenschlagiana (creeping Campanula).
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