Shade Perennial

paul224(z6 NWAR)June 19, 2007

I have 3 very large Cherry trees, each one in a railroad tie planter about 8 x 8 feet. I would like to plant the same thing in all 3 planters. Since they are very shaded I would like something really bright to light up the spaces. I was going to do Impatients but prefer not to have to plant new each year. Any ideas? Thanks,


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If you want flowering all season, you need to go with an annual. There are several shade plants that will give you color for a few weeks. I am thinking a verigated hosta will brighten you dark spots best and give you a nice punch if you pick some real pretty ones. You could pick a different sort for each tree. Check out the hosta library. There are many varied choices. I like the yellow/green verigated best!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 8:51AM
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chezmoose(z4/5 MI)

What about a ground cover? I personally love lamium, such as 'orchid frost'. The silver and green leaves are beautiful by themselves, but mine bloom continuously when there's no snow on the ground. It fills in quickly and since they're contained by the railroad ties, you wouldn't have to worry about it spreading where you don't want it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orchid Frost Lamium

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 4:46PM
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For perennials you could try Bowles Golden Sedge or Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' - both are very bright golden yellow. Brunnera Jack Frost has bright silver leaves and is tough as old boots. Japanese Painted Ferns are lovely. Also some of the heucheras and tiarellas do fine in shade. all of the above would look great with some bright hostas.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:36PM
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A few years ago I planted some astilbe (mixed shades of pink, red and plum), corydalis Lutea (bright yellow), purple-leaved heuchera, and lady's mantle (yellow-green) under two mature apple trees. They're all doing great! The cordalis lutea spreads aggressively, but it's easy to pull, as it has almost no root system. I leave space for a few lavender & violet impatens, so that when the astilbe finish blooming (by the end of July) I still have some red tones. The corydalis lutea blooms from May 'till frost (in Ohio). The lady's mantle only blooms May - June, but it has attractive foliage that looks nice with the purple heuchera.

I hope you have as much luck gardening around fruit trees as I have.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 4:27PM
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p.s. I'm new to this forum, so I just figured out how to post a photo in the photo gallery. (See link below.)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 4:40PM
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paul224(z6 NWAR)

Your picture is great. Beautiful plants around that tree! I have a large shady area with Hostas, Astilbe, Heucheras, etc. The 3 planters with the Cherry trees are spaced across the entire width of my yard. I want to put the same thing in each planter to tie everything together.
I went ahead this weekend and planted red begonias just to get something in there until I can decide what I want.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 7:34PM
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I would definitely agree with go bucks about the Corydalis. I love this plant. Such a long blooming time. It is a little pricey, but it earns it's keep for sure!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 7:53PM
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