need ideas for this spot-pic

KellyFG(6)March 14, 2006

the previous owner of our home cut down all of the trees on the property but this dogwood & one scrub brush. So this is our only truly shaded area. Last year we tried to get grass to grow but it didn't happen & now I'm thinking I'd prefer to plant sade loving plants in this area rather than grass. I feed birds & have several feeders, baths & houses in this corner & would like to make it lush & pretty as we often sit on our deck & watch the birds in this area. I would like suggestions on shade loving plants that might be attractive to birds & butterflies as well.

Here's a pic of the area last spring-excuse the plywood-new fence is in. The area under the hammock is wood chips, just under the dogwood is the area I'm concerned with.

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kal2769(Zone 8)

Mahonias will make berries for the birds to eat. They bloom yellow this time of year and the berries come in the fall i think. they will grow in shade. Also hollies and aucuba will be evergeen, shade tolerant, and produce berries for the birds. any of these would be good as the background. good luck!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 8:27PM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Columbine attracts hummingbirds, masterwort (Astrantia) is popular with insects, maybe butterflies too, Lobelia cardinalis, a number of lilies if the shade isn't too thick, Pulmonaria and Bergenia for early season blooms beloved by hummingbirds...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 10:24PM
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While this seems shady, how much sun does it get? Even 6 hours of morning, early afternoon sun will allow you to plant some more sun loving plants than you might think. It is worth watching the area over the course of a day to calculate the # hours of sun.

Mahonias seed around a bit too much and pop up in unwanted places, I would not recommend them. However, birds do love sources of cover, so medium sized junipers would be nice (and they eat the berries). Hollies are another source of cover and berries. Depending on whether your neighbors have hollies (or you have others), you may need more than one as they are male and female plants. Another favorite shrub for birds is Spicebush (lindera benzoin), but you need male and female plants of those too.

If you expand the area beyond the dogwood, planting a serviceberry (amelanchier species) would be very popular. The birds love those berries. It is a small tree.

Until the plants get a little more mature, you may need to be content with providing cover and water and a supplemental source of food (a bird feeder).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 7:20AM
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