Shrubs and vines for north side of 6ft. fence

noplacelikehomeforsureAugust 18, 2008

The area I want to plant is about 10ft. long by 3ft., but is mostly in damp shade.

I had planted four "Moonlight" climbing hydrangeas three years ago, when we moved into this new little house, hoping they would fill in the whole area along the fence,but despite trying to support them by various means, they just were not able to grab onto the wooden fence and climb. I have left two of them in, at each end of the bed, one is in a corner and may be able to climb a little in the next year or two, then maybe take off, but I'm not very hopeful. The other two I have put against a back wall.

At our last house, I had climbing hydrangea "Petiolaris" growing up quite easily against a brick wall in quite a bit of shade. Maybe this variety can climb up a wooden fence more easily than the "Moonlight"?

I have a lacecap hydrangea "Blueird" which is doing reasonably well, and I planted vinca as a ground cover last year, which is still just straggly.

Could anyone suggest suitable shrubs, evergreens, or vines, hopefully with some height, that would cheer up this dreary border!

Apologies for this long-winded post!

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Does it get any sun at all? My north facing area actually gets a bit of sun in the early morning, then nothing the rest of the day until late afternoon. I'll suggest some plants if you have at least a bit of light - even bright light but no direct sun. Dappled shade? Or is it solid shade?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 5:18PM
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Some shrubs I've grown in fairly deep shade are:
- Pyracantha (mine had to be espaliered, but it worked well in pretty deep shade)
- Lindera benzoin (spicebush) These are doing well in full shade with some dappled sunshine in the morning and early afternoon
- Itea virginica. Mine is growing slowly in the shade, but doing ok.
- almost any kind of currant bush, especially Alpine currant, will do ok in the shade
- My Japanese Kerria are very adaptable to shade and crummy soil
- I've grown Pieris in fairly deep shade

At our new place there is a 5-foot shrub growing right underneath a Norway Maple tree (!) and this spring, with all the rain, it actually bloomed. I think it is some kind of white-flowering Spirea. Anything that can take the abuse of a Norway maple will live anywhere-- you might want to check those out.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:10AM
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Some shrubs and vines I have grown in shade is:
Acer ginnala
Berberis (especially light green varieties)
Lonicera cultivars
Ribes alpinium
Cornus florida
Cornus racemosa
Ilex verticillata
Magnolia virginiana
Most will do well in a north exposure and ample moisture

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 5:34PM
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If you are in zone 6 you could try these interesting shrubs.

Calycanthus chinensis (sometimes called Calycanthus sinochinensis)
Calycanthus floridus


Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 2:48PM
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Many thanks to all of you who very kindly sent me advice.

Tiffy, - yes, I checked at various times of the day, and there is a little dappled sunlight and later in the day a little direct sun.

Bev - your suggestions were interesting - I do like firethorn - I have three at the other end of the garden against a fence and I had just one at our last house. I love kerria, especially the single flowering one. I looked up Itea virginica, and it would be an ideal choice, but the problem is the narrowness of the border, also pieris, which is so pretty.

MG - Your suggestions are lovely, but I don't think they would survive very well in this location. Lots of snow taking a long time to melt in the spring, along with the shade.

Orchidguy4ever - That is quite a list, and thank-you! I will have to google to find their familiar names, I'm embarrassed to say!! Which ones are vines or smallish shrubs?

Thanks again, everyone! What a great forum this is!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 12:58PM
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That was an intersting question you asked and I am impressed with all the names of thse plants. WIll look some up as well as I have a fence that needs some growth on it as well

I am in a new house, to me, since last year. The only thing I have growing on the fence just now, are half a dozen clematis that I put in this spring

Will see how they overwinter. I haven't staked them, or trellised , yet as I will wait and see which ones make it and which don't.

But I would like to grow more things on the fence. I have fencing on three sides of the back yard and back onto a little wooded area.

Appreciate as well the list.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:54AM
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