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What can I grow in a dappled shade bed?

Posted by linnea56 z5 IL (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 17, 09 at 12:14

I only have one place in my yard that is not already full of lilies. That is a deciduous shade raised bed under ash trees. It gets decent morning light (spotty) and then dappled sun/shade in the afternoon. Full sun in early spring when many bulbs are emerging. This is where I have had the best luck with most of my species tulips persisting. Very well drained.

I always had a fantasy of that bed full of red lilium superbum, and looking like a small wild wooded park in Evanston IL that was full of them. It was quite a sight to see those lilies glowing in the small clearings. That was over 25 years ago and I cant get that vision out of my head. I went back again and again to draw the flowers.

As an experiment I planted some pink tiger lilies there a year ago last spring. I wanted to see if there was really enough light there. They did bloom this year but were spindly and did not have many flowers. But I am not sure now if that was due to inferior bulbs (they were cheap on sale, were pretty small when I opened the package, and not fresh) or inadequate light conditions. In retrospect I should have planted some others in better light to make a proper comparison.

I did that with some rubrums a few years ago, and the ones in shade (deeper shade than the present one in question) still only produce a bloom or two each, whereas the full sun ones bloom like crazy.

From what Ive read martagons will tolerate the shade, but before I invest much money in them (they are expensive?) Id like to make sure. It is also far away from the house and Id like something with a punch of color.

Thanks for the help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What can I grow in a dappled shade bed?

It sounds as though martagons would do well there.

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