Experts and BHG readers answer.
What to plant along a canal?
The canal may be beautiful, but it might be even more spectacular if some of the plantings on the slope partially conceal it. The first things that come to mind are some of the spectacular ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus, Calamagrostis, Pennisetum, and Panicum varieties. These are all tall varieties that form large clumps up to three and four feet wide. Great shrubs for slopes include Sumac and Sorbaria; they can provide spectacular red and yellow fall color. Low-growing shrubs that can help anchor an eroding slope include Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald & Gold' or E. fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety', Vinca minor, Pachysandra terminalis, Rosa rugosa 'Max Graf', Microbiota decussate, Junipers, and Cotoneaster horizontalis. Finally, for some perennial color, you can plant snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum), hardy Geranium (G. sanguineum), soapwort (Saponaria), and daylilies (Hemerocallis).