Suggestions for 6' shade strip

kristineca(z10 CA (Coast))March 16, 2006

Greetings Shade Warriors. I have 6" of soil running directly along side the house. It is bordered by a cement walkway. Of course it's north side AND there is a 8' hedge about 3 feet away. So, it's pretty shady, with an hour or two of full morning sun. Right now there are calla lillies growing well there, but it's too shady to get them to bloom much. (They were there when I moved in.)

I'm looking other tall things I can put there. The height of the lillies (2") really softens up the walkway. It's good, loamy, moist soil.

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks, Kristine

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bunnycat(z6 NY)

How about hostas? Blue varieties especially like the shade, and you can alternate with varigated and chartreuse leafed varieties. You could plant some small patches of daffodils between some of the hostas in the fall. As the daffodil leaves brown and die, the hosta leaves will reach out and cover them. If you buy hostas that are still small(and young ones grow slowly the first years), you could plant some impatiens in between. Hostas flower, and some are fragrant.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 7:57AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Well Oops! Didn't notice you are zone 10. So my suggestions are probably worthless. Sorry! ~BC

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 10:42AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Compared to other regions, even a couple of hours of California sun along with bright shade, can give you an incredibly wide variety of plants to grow. Here's what I grow in a north-facing bed 3' wide, 30' long, between our house and our neighbors:

Looking downwards, top half of the bed (now 3 years old). R-L, there is: bearded iris, neanthe bella palm, white callas, heuchera 'Amber Waves', more spikey iris leaves with the stems of blue flowering brunnera 'Jack Frost' peeking through, a hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer', variegated alstroemeria (not doing too well yet, a bit shady for them to bloom much but lots of leaves); various groundcovers you can't see such as lamium, vinca minor, and oxalis siliquosa; Japanese maple 'Emperor 1' which is an outstanding new variety that is well worth the money, grows in shade or sun equally well; more bearded iris (I had 200 rhizomes given to me and planted them EVERYWHERE), with the final green at the far left being a Microlepia fern that I regularly have to whack back because it's grown way bigger than it was supposed to.

Looking downwards, bottom half of bed (lives solely on runoff from soaker hose on the top half). R-L: A good view of the huge Microlepia fern, and a hellebore that stays in bloom 7 months out of the year (Next photo shows an upwards view where you can see the three plants that finish off the top half bed). More bearded iris, another hellebore as well as a young Aucuba 'Gold Dust' you can't see, and star jasmine growing upwards through a pillar frame.

Looking upwards, bottom to top this time, the iris are in bloom, as is the fragrant dwarf rhododendron with that big Microlepia fern behind it. Oxalis siliquosa is the copper & green groundcover, and you can barely see the heuchera 'Snow Angel' in a little mound of variegated foliage just to the left where the concrete stair is.

We liked how this bed came out so much, I was rather sorry I don't have even more shady beds!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:46PM
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