Can anyone tell me what either of these plants are?
Here is the second picture.
The top photo is pachysandra - nice evergreen ground cover, but it spreads quite aggressively with underground runners, considered invasive by some.
In the lower photo, the plant with the pink flower is astilbe. Nice shade plant, well-behaved, just don't let it dry out. Above it and to the right, the plant with the white-tipped leaves is variegated Solomon's seal, a native plant that will also spread by underground runners, but I've not had a problem with it ... yet. Looks like there may be some vinca in that lower photo, too ... I've found that one to be an aggressive spreader too, also considered invasive by some.
All will do very well in part sun, dappled shade ... as you have probably already discovered.
This post was edited by agardenstateof_mind on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 19:36
Thank you so much for all of the information! We had 2 crepe myrtles in the back yard that were hiding all of these great plants. We have a strange assortment of plants back there that just couldn't grow. Now I have to see what I can do with them.
What a wonderful find! You wrote "had", so I assume the crepe myrtles are now gone. The Solomon's seal (polygonatum) and astilbe will need some shade, especially from afternoon sun.
The variegated polygonatum is a real find, selected in 2013 as the Perennial Plant Association's "Plant of the Year". Once established they will tolerate drought, but will do best in a rather moist soil rich in organic matter, in the slightly acidic to neutral range.
The astilbe also likes a moist soil rich in organic matter. The leaves tend to brown if the soil is allowed to dry out, but will persist as a nice groundcover long after the flowers are gone if given enough water.
I have found both plants are relatively low-maintenance with few serious pest or disease problems.
I would cut off those long, leafless stems of the pachysandra, and if it is in the vicinity of the polygonatum and/or astilbe, I would keep an eye on it and prevent it from crowding out the other two. I have some in one of my gardens ... it was here when we moved in and it is a nice green patch in winter, but it is a project to keep it from invading its neighbors - tree peony, azalea, hydrangea, fothergilla, and dwarf iris. I've been pulling out the patch in the back, as I've replaced it with less aggressive ground covers like tiarella, ferns and sweet box (which is also evergreen and has awesomely fragrant tiny flowers in late winter/very early spring).
Have fun and good luck with your plant discoveries and please post anything else you might find there.
I was worried that the Solomon's seal would crowd out the Astible. Can I move the Astible? How, what, when to move it or should I leave it where it is?
Thanks for helping!
No need to disturb it now, and best not to. If you want to move the astilbe, late summer into autumn would be a good time. The soil is still warm enough to encourage the development of new roots, yet the sun's intensity and air temperatures are lower, decreasing the demand for moisture. You will not see the new shoots of the Solomon's Seal expanding its territory until next spring. They are easy to pull and, in my experience, fairly easy to root in another location.