Need suggestions for shade plants in Alaska

eskimo_alaska(z2 AK)July 5, 2004

I am trying to help my Father-in-law come up with some plant ideas for the shady side of his house. He has built a very nice raised bed that is connected to the house and my Mother-in-Law planted tulips there. Not one of them came up, so they decided to look for something better suited.

We live in the South-Central area of Alaska (they are specifically in a town called Talkeetna.) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I have not done much shade gardening so am not sure what to try.


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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

The link below was posted on a thread on another forum - it looks like it would be useful to you. Some of the shade plants listed include:
Dicentra (bleeding heart)
Heuchera (Coral bells - which surprised me !)
Wild geranium
variegated goutweed - very invasive - doesn't surprise me that even an Alska winter won't kill the stuff!

Bulbs included Scilla and Tarda tulips (small botanical tulips - very pretty...)

All the ferns they list would grow in shade. In the groundcover list, lily-of-the valley grows in shade. Bunchberries will too but not flower much.

Keep in mind that raised beds freeze earlier and thaw faster than beds in the ground. Things on the edge of the bed are more likely to be damaged than things against the house. It would be worth it in late fall to to stack bales of straw against the outer edge of the bed to add extra insulation to protect agaist feezing too hard and damage from freeze/thaw cycles.

A good local nursery would be a good source of information about what will do well in shade in the area. Contacting a local garden society would also be a good idea.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants for Alaska

    Bookmark   July 7, 2004 at 9:50AM
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