Need Advice For Problem Area

plantinellen(5)June 3, 2010

The east side of our house, which is shaded by woods maybe only 10 feet or so away from the building, is very barren -- just a 2-foot-wide strip of mulch alongside the house.

We inherited a lot of landscaping problems from the previous owners and have very slowly been working our way around the house. Even though this east side isn't visible to neighbors and doesn't even get a lot of foot traffic from us, I've been frustrated with this little corridor and the bare, ugly mulched strip alongside the house. I got an inspiration to plant groups of wildflowers in this strip, and was all excited about that, until I tried to dig down into the mulch and discovered...a solid, deep layer of landscaping rocks.

I'm disappointed, of course, but am now wondering if I can't at least add a few interesting planters of shade plants. The south end of the strip gets somewhat more sunlight (in the morning) than the rest of the space. Any ideas about container plants that might do well in medium/dappled shade?

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It would be helpful to know where you are (there are a lot of places in zone 5). Certainly plants like impatiens (for color), hostas and ferns (for lush green) should do fine in containers. Lots of home stores (like home depot) carry those big lightweight planters now so that you can do something large and lush.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:28AM
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That's fair.

I'm trying to stay away from perennials just because I don't have a good place to store them during the winter months and am not confident that they'd survive the cold in a planter (although I may be wrong.) We've used hostas, astilbe and ferns on our north side with great success.

My thoughts were bushier species of fuschias and impatiens in pots, with some accent foliage -- just something flowery to brighten things up a bit. I'm wondering if there are other easily-obtainable annuals that can take the lack of sunlight but that won't poop out in the course of the summer. I can't seem to keep pansies going over the summer around here, even in the shade. Now, if I thought I could keep perennials, even wildflowers, alive and healthy in containers, I'd expand my plant palette accordingly.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 5:22PM
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Fuschias do nicely in the shade and last all summer. A bonus--I put the pot of fuschia in the garage over the winter and it survived! I cut it back, gave it some food and it has buds on it right now.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 2:16PM
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