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To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

Posted by ravenwv 6 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 16, 08 at 23:49

I've recently moved in to a new house and although I'm thrilled with the move and the new home, I'm having to start from scratch with all my plants ...

I have 2 very tall trees in my back yard..Pine trees I guess (because I know nothing about trees) and there is a huge spot that gets hardly any sun and is just plain ugly ... so I thought I would put in a shade garden/woodland plants...this will be something new for me

Before I did that, I wanted to show the pictures and get some opinions because the tree roots are above the ground and a lot of pine needles and I definitely don't want to hurt the trees...

I'm thinking of hostas ferns astilbes, and jack-in-the-pulpits to start ...but I'm open to anything... then again, if, because of the roots, I can't plant there, I'm gonna go moss hunting :)

So, if you wouldn't mind taking a look and give an opinion, I would be happy.

Thanks!

Raven

The Trees

Under the trees


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

  • Posted by arcy mn/3/4 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 17, 08 at 12:50

Our zones are so different but here is what I did. Frist I marked my garden plot with field stone in the front and the back border are old wagon wheels. I live in an area where I found Jack-in-the-Pulpits, soloman seal and other wild flowers growing. I transplanted them into my garden area. I have tons of hosta, astilbe, foam flowers,toad lillies,bleeding hearts different ferns etc. All have shallow enough roots they don't interfer with trees. I have so many trees that I didn't really have to be concerned with killing any. We removed many many saplings actually. You may have to think about watering. The trees will take all the water they want and you may not have enough left over for hosta and astilbe with out irrigation. Most shade plants don't need ammended soil so other than throwing my coffee grounds in and around I did not till or fertilize. You may have new pest issues than you are used to, like slugs. The hardest part of dealing with shade is learning to live with our vibrant color. I learned to enjoy dark/light, textures. I also added bird houses and bird baths for color.


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

Thanks so much for your reply ... I'll have to start looking at different plants and see what I can find... at least I have a starting point...good idea about putting in bird houses and baths..I'll keep that in mind...


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

I forgot Columbine, I have native and green house varieties. They come in many colors. When picking ferns I would choose ones that don't wander. Ostrich is prolific and pretty but can get invasive....


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

My mom has some native ferns around the back of her house..I'm probably gonna steal some of them lol .. don't know what they are though..I'll keep reading too :)

Thanks again


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

I wouldn't plant right up against them. I'd spread out a layer of mulch (we use pine straw but shredded hardwood is very nice) in a circle 5-6 feet all the way around the tree. Or certainly if you can get a nice carpet of moss going, that would serve a similar purpose. Then plant further out.

I think planting too close is hard on the plants, hard for you to dig and to maintain (lots of root competition), and potentially stressful for the tree (depending on how much you do). A nice layer of mulch or moss is plenty attractive and restful to the eye.

If you have any deer nearby, don't bother planting hostas. Getting fern divisions from your mom sounds like a good way to start (and economical). If you want to id them (the ferns), take a picture and post it on the Name that Plant forum.


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

esh_ga

Thanks so much for the tips....I think that sounds like a good idea...and, you must be a mind reader...I went to my mom's today and took pictures..I was just about to try and get them identified :)


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

I totally understand the ugly under the trees issue. I have a couple suggestions that look really nice in my yard. First, go with evergreen groundcover rather than filling the spot with perennial plants that leave it looking ugly in the winter (or a combo). One of my favorites in this situation is 'Purple Dragon' Lamium because it is an evergreen groundcover with variagated foliage and pretty flowers. It will add year-round interest with little work and once established it thrives on neglect-especially dry shade under trees.

Second, define the area. Add a border of river rock or something else of interest. Hope that helps. I have lots of pictures but this is my first post and I couldn't figure out how to add them.


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

shade dweller - thanks for the input!

you could email the pics you have at thinbluelyne@yahoo.com .. i'd love to see the lamium.. thanks!


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

Ferns are definitely a good idea you might also try some climbing ivy on trees and large groups of Madonna Gladiolus bulbs (they are tall hyacinths that are hardy even here in zone 5. Grape Hyacinths and crocus may be a good spring plant and ground cover may give you a good woodland floor. Wood chips would probably look best as pathways for the area you may consider a small pond in a spot where you don't have roots. I've had to chop through 6" roots to put in ponds, it's not worth it. Stiphoning is a good way to set up filtration without using any kind of power.


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

try some climbing ivy on trees

Someone still thinks having ivy climb up a tree is a good idea?


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

"I live in an area where I found Jack-in-the-Pulpits, soloman seal and other wild flowers growing. I transplanted them into my garden area."

I hope you were transplanting from your own property, or with the owner's permission. . .


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RE: To plant or not to plant? (or what to plant)

"Harvesting" querry, not to worry, I am surrounded by lots that are brambled, wild mess, so thick one can barely walk through them. My subdivision is 40 some two acre lots. All will be sold and built on. Besides thinking I am nutty for wanting them, no one cares. I suppose I could leave them for the contractors to destroy, but that seems STUPID to me.
I have an area near a large blue spruce that won't grow grass. It is right infront of my garden bed. I planted a ground cover. Sometimes it is the best solution. I would go for more of a variety for interest, but to each his own. There are some really pretty ornamental grasses out there too.


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