New here and looking for shade plants??

julesnega(7B/NE GA)July 23, 2004

Been visiting this site for several weeks. Looking for ideas for shade garden that I have been working on. Live in NE GA mountains. Gone to all nurseries around and no one has ever heard of epimedium or persicaria. Can these be grown from seed? Where to find? Soil is very sandy, moist and deep shade. Will these plants thrive here? Have lots of fern, hosta, sedum and impatiens. Need groundcover that will not invite snakes and some more color. Can someone help me?


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Sources I use for Epimediums are Darrell Probst's Garden Vision---- and Naylor Creek Nursery----
Garden Vision does not ship during summer months, but they have an extensive list of plants at reasonable prices and a photo gallery.
I do not use a ground cover, because of the invasive nature of most of them. I use mostly small native plants for cover, such as Wild Ginger(Asarum sp.), Mosses(Selaginella sp.), Wood Poppy(Stylophorum diphyllum) & Galax.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2004 at 10:52PM
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julesnega(7B/NE GA)

Thanks for the reply, Razorback (you from Arkansas?) I have extended my flower bed, but still have about a 3-4 ft. swath of dirt. Filling in with large stepping stones but at a loss of what to do with dirt surround other than ground cover. Don't want anything that will attract snakes tho. Deep shade, moist and sandy. Like the wild ginger idea. I have plenty of ferns and hosta. How would creeping thyme do in my conditions?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2004 at 12:11PM
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Hi Julie,

Ilive in NY and have a large shade garden. It used to be heavily wooded. I have thinned out some of the trees, and have planted plants that are shade loving. I have such ground covers as White Nancy-which is white and green vairigated color and creeping Jenny which has light green to yellowish leaves. I, too, have sandy soil and both of these thrive. I have seen no snakes. I also have pachysandra, which may invite snakes--although I have seen none in there either. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 4:18AM
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Goodness Grows over in Lexignton, GA - east of Athens - sells persicaria, but I think it needs more sun than it will get in your shady spot. If your soil drains well, try gallium odoratum - sweet woodruff - for a ground cover. Very delicate and beautiful all summer. Others that do well in shade are lamium - it can look great with hostas. If the area gets a little sun or if it's filtered shade, try thalictrum kusianum for ground cover. I know Niche Gardens in NC has it - don't know who else. I also like woodland phlox - phlox divaricata - nothing prettier in spring, but mine tends to go dormant when it gets as hot as it is right now in Atlanta. Might not do that in the north GA mountains - you'd have to check. Also, GINGER. Ginger is evergreen, beautiful, everything goes with it - far as I know, you can't kill it. I know Goodness Grows has a good ginger selection so you can find it there. All of these are green, so if you want a different color how about strawberry begonia? Their leaves are variagated and the undersides are pinkish. The only other thing I can think of is myosotis - mine are usually covered with blue flowers from spring until the bad heat hits in July. And it spreads like crazy. Three little 4" pots that I planted in spring now cover about 5 square feet. But it's so tiny and close to the ground that it doesn't interfere with other plants. Again, on this one check how much sun it needs. I have it in one of my least shady spots. Hope you find something you like in this list. Can you tell I have nothing but shade to garden in?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 2:10PM
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A few other plants that you might consider, are: Laurentia fluviatilis(Blue Star Creeper), Mazus reptans(lavender, white, blue, yellow?), Mitchella reptans(Partridgeberry)(GA native), Ajuga reptans(Bugleweed), Gaulteria procumbens(Eastern teaberry)(GA native), Ranunculus repans(Creeping Buttercup), Sagina subulata(Irish Moss), Ophiopogon japonicus(Dwarf Mondo Grass) and Selaginella uncinata(Blue Spikemoss). In some of my paths, I use the Blue Spikemoss and it grows between the stones, will also drape over rocks.Dies down in winter, but has great color during the rest of the year. Mitchella repens also makes a great ground cover and multiplies rapidly. Also, has red berries.
The Dwarf Mondo Grass is attractive, evergreen and functional, but multiplies very slowly for me.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2004 at 6:12PM
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julesnega(7B/NE GA)

Thanks all for the great tips. Now have a recipe for a great shady retreat. Need to get my piggy bank out and go shopping. I have seen a native garden shop on the GA/NC line. think I will start there. Picked up a truck load of cow manure, peat moss and top soil. Now the rain has set in again. I can smell the aroma already. Another question, can any or all of these plants grow friendly with chipmunks and moles? I seem to have large families of both.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 9:38AM
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Julesnega, Georgia has a great native plant society with many sponsored plant rescues (some as far north as Pickens county). Plant rescues are a great, no-cost, source of shade plants. You just need to join.

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia native plant society

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 9:42AM
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shadeeladee(z5 KS)

Julesnega, You asked about chipmunk friendly plants...I seem to have problems with perennials planted late summer or fall. The chipmunks like to dig under them and eat the roots. If the plant is established with no new mulch or loose dirt around it, they are less likely to be victims of the chipmunks. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 9:22PM
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