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Advice on what to plant in shade

Posted by tpolony 6B (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 21, 13 at 15:24


I live in zone 6B. I'm a total novice with gardening, but I feel compelled to get involved with the landscaping committee of my condo community, as they're trying to re-do our landscaping and they may know even less than I do!

We have a very shady courtyard, and they keep talking about planting grass. We've tried this many times in the past, and the grass always dies. Right now, there is mondo grass in there, and it's growing well, but for whatever reason, people don't like it.

The grass is in a central area that just looks boring, there are a couple of trees bordering it, but it's about 25 x 35 ft of just plain mondo grass.

Since they just removed a couple of smaller trees, I was thinking of suggesting planting a new tree in the center to make it look like it has a point of focus, and then maybe planting various shade-loving plants around it so it looks more sectioned / manicured / interesting, etc.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what we might plant that looks good, obviously is very shade tolerant, and could give this a more interesting and attractive look than just clumps of mondo grass? Too bad, it cost a lot of money to put in the mondo grass, such a shame to pull it out. Maybe we could just pull out some of it and add other stuff to it.

Thanks for any advice.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Advice on what to plant in shade

Hosta strikes me as the next move here because they are low maintenance, though not evergreen.

Also, look at Spiderwort. A bright lime green Heucherella (pronounced You-ka-rella) would contrast nicely with black mondo grass as would Japanese forest grass. Woodland phlox and hellebores are nice as well. There really are more options and combinations than I could possibly list here. I would recommend a nursery visit with a camera in Spring.

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