Border along our long drive; What to do?
We're lucky (?) enough to have quite a long drive leading up to our house, about 80ft in length all told, with a border about 6 to 8 feet wide the whole way up. Half way up the drive the border is dominated by a large horse chestnut tree with a canopy spread of about, oooh, 30 or 40ft. The border runs north to south in a straight line and so the tree canopy casts quite a lot of shadow, almost complete shadow in fact, in a lot of the border area. Not to mention roots as thick as your leg.
At present the border is simply a mess, not un-pretty in a sort of rambling countryside way, but not to my liking and brambles are starting to dominate. We consulted a professional gardener who took one look at it and suggested industrial machinery to dig the whole thing out and start again but that sounds expensive and we don't have a lot of cash. What sort of thing should I be looking to plant that would do well in the shade, provide a combination of ground cover (weed control) interspersed with some structure for height and, perhaps even, some colour? Just really looking for suggestions from those in the know to help a keen, but inexperienced, gardener.