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Groundcover for shade

Posted by judyny6 z6 NY (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 8, 07 at 13:41

I would appreciate any suggestions-I have an acre of property, and it is shaded all along its perimeter with large trees. There is nothing underneath them except dirt. I have planted some shrubs that take shade, but I would also like to plant some groundcovers. They obviously will have to take shade, and I would like something wildlife can use for cover or food- with the exception of deer. I would be thankful for any advice.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Groundcover for shade

Virginia Creeper is nice but don't plant any vinca or english ivy or you will never get rid of it.

I personally stay away from ground covers and go for lots of plant materials like hostas, ferns and flowy shade perennials. There are tens of thousands of hosta varieties alone and likely almost as many types of ferns. Bleeding Hearts look FABULOUS in a woodsy setting, many varieties of trillium and jack in the pulpit, beautiful virginia bluebells, astilbes in many colours, coral bells in many foliage as well as flower colour, bunchberry, wild nodding onion, blue cohosh, trout lily, corydallis in a few shades of yellow, white, pinks etc.. wood lilies, many varieties of pulmonaria, white/yellow/lavender/purple wild violets, baneberries (white and red), false solomon's seal, smooth solomon's seal, cardinal flower, hellebores, bergenias, impatiens, anemones, monkshood, primrose, monkeyflowers, fuschias and many more...

Why just plant boring old ground cover when there are so many beautiful things you could fill in the space with?

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA


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RE: Groundcover for shade

What about Sweet Woodruff? (Galium odoratum) It like full or partial shade, has pretty foliage, tiny white flowers, spreads indefinitely, and smells like fresh cut hay when you step on it. The book I found it in covers southeast Canada. I'm not sure what zone that would ultimately be, but it sound pretty hardy.


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RE: Groundcover for shade

My favorites are: wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), bunchberry (Cornus canadenis), partidgeberry (Mitchella repens), Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica), and box huckleberry (Gayluassacia brachycera). The last one is hard to find. The only place around here that it can be found is "Garden in the Woods." (MA)


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RE: Groundcover for shade

Kelp! I bought a huckleberry at Garden in the Woods! But it died pretty quickly. If I'm not mistaken, they are fussy about acid or something. Am I remembering that correctly?


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RE: Groundcover for shade

How good is your soil? We use sensitive ferns - they spread really fast on their own.


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RE: Groundcover for shade

Vonyon--Yes, they like it moist,well-drained,(add a touch of pool sand) acidic, and VERY organic. Lots of compost, shredded leaves, etc. added to the soil at planting time. Oh, yea, partial shade,too.


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RE: Groundcover for shade

Great list, Barb, I'd add epimedium, geraniums, tricyrtris, bletilla striata, saxifrage-but I think hellebores are my favorite, they just are so beautiful year-round. I need to add more ferns & hostas, but heucheras are another plant that you could add forever, w/ all the new varieties...


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RE: Groundcover for shade

Lots of good ideas, but, what kind of trees are they. Some trees and other plants inhibit the growth under and arround them. I would hate for anyone to plant a dream garden and then watch it die.


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