Starting a shade garden in central Maryland

LaVidaMdAugust 8, 2014

I have started to read the forum regularly, so I thought I would introduce myself. I moved in to a house in Maryland, zone 6B, about a year ago. The entire property is .44 acres and most of it is the back yard, which is heavily wooded. We have about 15 oak trees. Unfortunately, we need to have two very mature oaks and two medium oaks removed, due to chestnut oak borers.

We're trying to move forward with landscaping the area. The previous homeowner's did a good job close to the house. The back of the property was left more natural, but still maintained. Also, there is a decided slope to the property, so water management is always a concern.

This forum seems like a great resource. I am looking forward to reading and participating.

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Beautiful property! I would plant some hosta, dicentra, astilbe (in any damper spots or near a birdbath where you change the water regularly, so the astilbe gets lots of H2O), heuchera, etc. Sweet Woodruff is a wonderful, evergreen groundcover with white flowers in spring.

Your yard is exactly the way I envision mine. Sadly, the galloping gardeners have other ideas and trample everything in their path. We also have lost several oaks and a couple other trees in the past several years, so I am getting more sun which is frying some of my shade plants. I have planted more trees, but they are young yet. I also fear that new neighbors are going to pretty much clear their property (he told me he likes grass and the golf course look), so we will lose more shade as well as privacy and a lovely vista. He has already removed five trees and have plans for a pool next spring, so more are bound to go. Yikes. I had better get planting this fall!

Can't wait to hear how you proceed! Congrats on the new house!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:31PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I highly suggest staying away from hosta's and heuchera. The hosta's, especially, are highly addictive... :-) If you are going to plant hosta's (which you should) please read up on Hosta Virus X (HVX) I just ripped all my hosta's out because I was unaware and bought them from sketchy sources and didn't practice proper tool sanitation.

Good luck as it is a beautiful place. Please keep us up to date with pictures.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:40PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Good point, scg! If lavida hops over to the hosta forum, she will be hooked! I get all my hosta through mail order from folks who test for HVX. Sorry you lost yours.

Yes, I am a hosta addict as well as an enabler. ;)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:34PM
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