Re: Clearing a Wooded Lot / What to do next?
I bought a house with an area quite like this one you describe where someone had also cleared and planted, here in zone 4 central VT. My best advice: AVOID PERIWINKLE AT ALL COSTS. Since it was planted by whoever lived here before, it has literally taken over the entire forest floor and choked out countless native plants. I assume the same would happen with thugs like English ivy or pachysandra. I’ve tried to fight back with plants that are better behaved: Astilbe, Hosta, and hellebores, and native groundcovers: Canadian anemone (hard to find, but hard-working), tiarella, native ferns.
I also think it looks much better now that I’ve added some native or near-native shrubs, like native witch-hazel, spicebush, azaleas, and such. My woods are also happy to support easy woodland perennials like Solomon’s Seal, Bleeding Heart, toad lilies, and aconites, all of which I love. Hope some of this can help!