What to plant along a canal?

We live in Zone 5-6 in Idaho and my friend asked me for advice on what to plant along her canal. They bought their property and had everything cleared from the ground, including misc. trees and grasses that were helping to hold the bank of the canal at the back of their land. Needless to say, they are having erosion problems now. The area is in full sun and they don't spend any time down there, so simple ideas would be the best. Thanks.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

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).


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