difficulties in shady areas

novice_2009(zone 6b)April 23, 2009

As any of us know, it's now easy gardening in the shade. Ususually, the most beautiful plants like sun. My house faces north, with small yard I've made raised beds around house. So far, I've got natasha ivy, autumn fern, impatiens, coleus, hostas, white columbine, japanese painted fern. Any other ideas? Anyone have a good landscape plan where perennials take over in about a year, with a few annuals added in for fun color? Against a white house with dark blue trim? What are your favorite shade plants and why? Do they like the same kind of soil? Any input on this subject of shade gardening would be sooooo appreciated! Thanks.

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Astilbe, toad lilly,bleeding hearts,It is possible for you to get color/flowers all season.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 6:48AM
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I am having the same problem, I planted some Lily of the Valley but it never really took off. My house has a sunken front door so up the walk it is shaded 100% of the time and in front of the house is north facing so it has partial late afternoon. Know of anything for no sun?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 3:21PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Me too, bethany. A little sun in afternoon, but it's shady! Had to ammend clay soil with OM, sand, and Epsoma organic sulfur. Made raised beds. Thanks arcy, never heard of toad lily. Where could i find that plant? Any tips on growing Astilbes from roots? Thanks so much! Let me know if you find anything bethany!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 4:29PM
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hockey_fan(z7 Cent. OK)


To find out info. about toad lillies do a search on Tricyrtis and you can find out all about them. I would think your local garden centers would have them as well.
They have awesome fall flowers and are, for me anyway, low maintenance. We had a hard freeze late here this year and the original growth died back but new shoots emerged in a matter of days and it is to the point now where I can't tell the difference.
They will spread a bit as they mature, but mine are easy to control, but give them some room to spread and fill in and they look great. Mine are next to several varieties of ferns and they look great together.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:08PM
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How about hostas?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 11:56PM
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Here's mine:

I'm not sure if you can see the contrast between the sun on the edge and the shade under the trees but that area is in pretty constant heavy shade all day. The early morning sun penetrates some and at other times of the day some light gets through up in the area where the hanging baskets are.

I'm still working on this area but what I get color from are the lighter colored hosta, azaleas (at the end of their blooming cycle), a flowering maple (I would never have chosen red but that's what was there) and hanging baskets with fuscia and begonias. I also think that containers that lift things up off the floor of the garden also have helped a lot. I can replace them easily and I can move them to sunnier parts to rejuvenate them as necessary. A couple of the hanging pots are, themselves, colorful Talavera pottery.

The other things in there that have a bit of color and bloom that are too small to see are blue ajuga surrounding begonias in one of the tall containers in the foreground and some Solomon's seal with sweet white bell-like flowers all along long stems.

The best thing about this area is that it's easily 15Ë cooler than the rest of the yard. And when our SoCal temps start soaring up over 85Ë that's a real positive!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:13PM
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Other perennials: Iris, Oriental Lily, and Astible.

I'm not sure how, but I have a little clump of Lambs Ears and Mother of Thyme growing in full shade. I think they are all supposed to be full sun plants. On the whole these plants in the shade are a lot smaller and grow more slowly than the plants in the sun. But with Lambs Ears and Mother of Thyme that's not a bad thing.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Dwarf or fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia) doesn't go dormant the way the larger Dicentra spectabilis does. And though Imrainey and I are in very different locations, I'll put in a second vote for Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum). The slender arches contrast pretty nicely with plants that clump (tiarella, hosta, pulmonaria)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 9:42AM
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