I have a corner lot with spruce trees that are 20 years old. The limbs are trimmed up to 5+ feet so I get some sun.
Soil there is clay under a 5 inch base of finely decomposed mulch.
The former owners mulched constantly ,they didnt garden much.
I have Hostas,Astilbes,Lilies, Ferns. https://picasaweb.google.com/jgentle4/GiantHostaGarden2010
bariolio, thanks! I'm glad the name makes sense to anyone. ;)
And ge, how pretty! I have my hostas and astilbes in the front yard where my dogs won't stomp on them. (I have my woodland area fenced off with a short fence that the greyhounds didn't used to go over...until the shiba inu puppy showed them how.) I've had to keep the sturdier stuff in the backyard and I've moved most of the hostas (except the undulatas and other oldies that came with the house) up front.
I'm rapidly becoming addicted to Hellebores. I had no idea they were such an awesome plant till I started growing some.
I planted one last year and this winter I noticed a seedling beside it. I'm surprised there isn't a separate forum for them.
I have a feeling I'm going to become a hellebore collector, myself. I have a couple of no-name single varieties (one rose pink colored and one white with burgundy speckles) but I drool when I see the double ones and all the lovely colors.
I got my first bloom yesterday. The plant's not even leafed out, but already it's busy blooming. :)
I also have never seen deer damage on my hellebores.
Here's a patch of mine from this past weekend.
My yard is 90% wooded, so woodland gardening is pretty much my thing.
Hellebores are certainly one of the reliable plants which thrive in these conditions,
despite fairly dense shade, root competition from all the surrounding trees,
and being smothered all winter with wet/frozen fallen leaves,
weerobin - do you fertilize your hellebores? I haven't done any major fertilizing in a long time and my original plot of plants seem to declining ever so slightly every year. I think with all of the trees, the soil gets depleted of a lot of nutrients pretty quickly.
KyWoods--vinca minor is another fast spreader for a slope. Both vinca and creeping jenny are considered invasive by more than a few people, though. I keep them only in areas that are confined or that I actually want completely covered. A shady slope where little else grows? I say go for it.
We do have creeping jenny, too, but not much is up yet this year. And I forgot about the vinca growing down by the creek! It's in bloom now, do you think it's safe to transplant some, or should I wait?
Vinca would work great to stabilize a slope, but preferably not within the same zip code as your garden!
Cindy, I never fertilize anything. Not out of conviction, just laziness or oversight.
As for red hellebores, I planted them a long time ago, and no longer remember what type.
But they have thrived and multiplied nicely, typically retaining the same deep red color.
Here's a more modestly hued hellebore for those with less flashy taste.
I know the name of this one; it's called Party Dress.
That 'Party Dress' is a nice one. Is it a double? As for the fertilizer, I'll try doing a little top-dressing around it with some compost or worm castings and loosen up the soil a bit. Although the soil was originally amended years ago, it tends to revert back to it's original crummy state.
Here are some plants in my woodland.
These are all from yesterday.
First is one of my faves, anemonella thalictroides.
This is a double pink called Shoafs Double.
It has been a reliable performer for years.
Don't be fooled though by my picture - flowers are really quite small.
But oh, so cute!
Finally, epimediums are blooming everywhere.
So many colors, shapes, sizes. Colorful, interesting foliage, too.
Maybe my favorite woodland shade plant genus.
Don't worry, I won't launch into my epimedium pictures.
Here's just one from yesterday. I don't even know which one it is.
Record-keeping is not my strong suit.
I've been waiting patiently for ten years for my variegated solomon seals to fill in.
I planted about a dozen plants about a foot apart back then.
I've still got the dozen plants. They look healthy, but they're still about a foot apart.
I keep reading how it's such an easy woodland plant.
And I see pictures like yours of a nice clump, but mine don't want to spread.
I'm suspecting they're in too deep shade, but don't know for sure.
Anyway, yours look nice.
weerobin - More desirous plants! I have my little Anemonella species and really look forward to the small white flowers every spring. I have variegated Solomon's seal that does multiply but it travels more than I'd like so no nice grouping like you have, Doug.
Gorgeous, weerobin and Doug! I'm still waiting for things to pop around here. It's been so stupidly cold that just when you think things are starting to get going...we're reaching daytime highs in the low 40s and freezing overnight. Into next week we have chances of rain mixed with snow. It's ugly and depressing...so it's nice to see photos that people have of actual blooms.
My clump started out just two years ago as probably 2-3 plants in DEEP shade. The thing is they start popping before the leaves fully develop on the trees so they do get some early spring light. They are in beds behind my greenhouse/pottingshed/barn and don't even get morning sun. I also have another clump in the woodland garden that has spread in little over a year. Must be the soil??? Very acidic to begin with; lots of manure,compost and mostly natural leaf mold added later.
Doug - maybe the key to a good clump is the organic matter. My light conditions sound pretty similar to your's but sounds like you've amended your soil more than I have. Mine is clay that does get amended oh, every several years.
Cindy I think it may have more to do with the acidity then we realize now that I think about it. Up on that hill where I have my woodland garden there are hundreds of native Solomons' Seals that come up every year. That soil tested 2 years ago at a ph of 4.5. That's blueberry heaven acidic!!
Too bad blueberries don't like shade. :) I have a lot of oaks and a few shagbark hickory. My lower garden borders on wetlands (yes, mosquito heaven) but the upper yard is all contractor imported soil (a thin layer) over clay. Have a little kit to test the soil this spring but have never had it "really" tested. I do have a few wild Solomon's seal but I think the clay is a toughie even for that.
I had not visited this site before but did so hoping to identify a plant in a friends garden. I knew it started with an A and then on a preceding post there was the name...;Anemonella thalictrodes. Daves garden is a wonderful resource!
Those Anemonella thalictrodes are so sweet! I also planted some primrose in my shade garden and am happy to report that not only have they not died yet, they rebloomed a little bit since the first big bloom when I bought them. I am almost positive they will not survive the heat of a Houston summer but I couldn't pass up the vivid colors! I'm a sucker for vivid colors... :) Happy digging! Janet
Primroses are not always reliably perennial here but they are not expensive in the spring so I always buy a few. Their cheery colors are so tempting. Some make it to the second year, others don't, but they are worth it.
OK, so finally I got out to check out what's happening between rain showers, tornadoes, etc. Lo and behold, I found the relentless progression of spring. Here's what I found in my woodland this past weekend.
We'll start w/ a pretty yellow-flowering japanese perennial, hylomecon japonica.
No scent that I could detect, but it's been so cold and drippy;
not the climate conducive to sumptuous fragrance.
Supposed to be in the 30's tonight again, for god sake.
It's May, at least by the calendar.
Of course, before you know it, we'll be in the humid 90's.
weerobin - what's your secret with the Enkianthus? I've had one for several years now - it's about 5 ft tall - but only one lonely group of flowers (raceme?) in all that time. I'm getting very tempted to move it, thinking it doesn't get enough sun. Have only fed it once or twice over the years. Would appreciate any tips.
Cindy, I'd hate to show all the failed attempts at growing enkianthus.
All I can tell you with confidence is they need sharp drainage.
And they can't stand our full summer sun. Mine are fairly shaded.
I have 3 that are doing well now; I'd be embarassed to say how many I've killed.
This is one of the other ones which is doing OK, a cultivar called Kisoji no haru.
It's supposed to be dark red, but to my eye, it's just slightly redder than the species.
The two I'm really trying to get established are enkianthus perulatus (petite plant w/ pure white flowers) and enkianthus cernuus rubens w/ deep pure red flowers. I have one of each which are still 'alive' after 4-5 years, but that's about all I can say for them. Maybe one of these days they'll decide to start growing. I see no sign of it yet...
Since this is another gorgeous flower, I looked up Enkianthus on DG. The ones that had growing info all say they like very acid to acid soil. I've never seen a plant "liking" very acid soil! Mildly acid, yes. Anyway, maybe you could try acidifying the soil, if not done already. Here's a link I found with a bit of info on that: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1054644. Good luck and keep those pretty flower pics coming! Janet
Thanks for the advice! I do know that it has sharp drainage (maybe too dry?) and I might just have to get my soil tested but in the land of oak trees and acorns, I'm hoping that it's acid enough. I did check on it this morning (I have the species E. campanulatus - no named variety) and I'm seeing at least 15 groups of flower buds. Yippee! That'll be the most flowers I've ever seen on it and I've had it since '97. Weerobin, your varieties sound delightful! Even though I haven't killed this one (yet), I don't know if I'd be confident enough to try some of the other varieties.
Ligularias don't seem to like me. I thought it was because I'm lazy about watering...but the astilbes seem to do fine. *shrug* I agree, they are dramatic. I've seen them put in a great show in other people's gardens.
beautiful ge1836! I love peeking into people gardens as I go for a walk. People do it here all the time! Love it. I just got back from a walk there are some beautiful gardens here in Plainwell! Love looking. Wish I could just walk right on in a take a closer look. I would not care if people did it here at all. Very foggy this morning. Have a great day.
I never understood the fascination with hellebores. Now watch me fall for them and collection 20 next year.
Favorite shade overall: Hostas! (Wolverine, June, Bressingham blue, Blue mouse ears... love them)
Runner up: Heucheras (Berry smoothie, Green spice, and Midnight rose being my favorites right now)
Favorite shade ground cover: Ajuga 'burgundy glow' -- you can walk on this stuff, it's purple, and it blooms with bright blue flowers in the spring.
Favorite shade fern: Japanese painted fern. Once established, this plant can take major abuse.
I have othello, fasinations (sp), lil rocket, roceet, britt marie, dark beauty and the one that has the long name that starts with a P. Does anyone else have that one? I really am struggling with where to place it in my yard. Am not to impressed with it so far. Comes back evey year but... Looking pretty bad. How much shade can it take? Can not put it where I have all the rest of mu ligularias. I am confused!
I have a planting of dwarf hostas which are filling in nicely.
They are right outside our kitchen window,
so their small size doesn't get lost in the jungle of the rest of the yard.
I've given up on buying large hostas, since they're just deer food.
So I'm loading up on the dwarf guys and snuggle them up
right next to the house where the deer rarely tread.
I love the variety of foliage shape/coloration.
I think the dwarf hostas are adorable.
Each one is cuter than the last, so I inevitably buy too many.
So I have found another way to keep them close enough to enjoy,
while protected from the deer. I just pot up the extras and put them on a cart.
It sits on a shady part of the driveway where the deer wouldn't think to brouse.
OK, Wee - I'm guessing your plant list is running close to 400? Always love your inspiring photos. I'm just starting to appreciate (via the wallet) dwarf Hosta. I have a trio near the patio - 'Kabitan', 'Chartreuse Wiggles' and 'Frosted Mouse Ears'. I think I like keeping them close to the house or they'll get buried by other plants out in the bigger beds. I'm wondering if they'd survive over winter in tufa containers. Hmm...
Here in zone 5 Utah I have my Mouse Ears in the ground and they came through well last winter which was a hard winter. A friend has a large Blue Mouse Ears that has been in a container for several years. Here are my Mouse Ears
Paul - nice grouping. I'm getting tempted to try a container with some of the little Hostas. I do have 'Krossa Regal' in a pot with "Hak" grass for about 3 years now but it's a big pot. I'm just wondering if the small Hostas in smaller containers would survive as well.
Yes...if you look closely at the picture above you will see bloom stalks. One of mine in the garden this year didn't start to grow when the others did but sent up an odd looking little growth but no leaves. When I looked at it closely I recognized it as a small bloom stalk. I cut it off and the plant immediately started to send to leaves.
Cindy, I've been a little afraid of trying to overwinter a dwarf hosta outdoors in a small container. I've always brought mine in. I have some dwarf hostas in a large container which have done fine.
Doug, next time you pass thru, you're welcome to visit. I appreciate your and Cindy & Pirl's comments, though we're all just doing the same thing. Just doing what we enjoy. I will never have as polished or beautiful a garden as most I see posted. I enjoy trying lots of unusual plant material. Many don't work out, of course. Those that do, end up on Dave's. I love seeing everyone else's version of 'works in progress'.
Wee - thanks for your input on winter vs. dwarf Hostas. If you have reservations in your zone, it sounds like small containers outdoors over winter are definitely not prudent here. The only time I've ever had a Hosta indoors is when I got my very small baby 'Kabitan' that just could not thrive on it's own in the garden. I did keep it indoors in a sunny window over the winter to let it grow a bit several years ago and it's now happy in the garden and ready to divide. And I do appreciate your philosophy and am glad that you share your successes. Keeps me motivated.
'works in progress' is the ultimate understatement! I've been working on an 'Asian Garden' up on the hill across the path from the woodland garden. It's not an ideal location but when you live on a slope you have to go with what nature gave you! Couple of pics:
Pic of my pride and joy at the moment. Bought one of those $2.50 Junipers last year at Lowes and pruned it to look like a bonsai. Also bought the pot at Lowes and cut the bottom out of it. Buried the pot and planted the juniper in it. Since the pot was a terra cotta colored plastic I think it works well in the situation.
Wow, Doug, your place is gorgeous! Since I live in the woods, I would love to get your input on how to keep the critters from eating, digging up, and otherwise wreaking havoc in the garden. Spraying stinky stuff is impractical with all the rain we've had. The giant pinwheel I put up in the coneflower bed did nothing to stop something from biting the heads off half the coneflowers just as they were about to bloom!
Doug - I love how you work with the existing topography! Have you put together any "before" and "after" pics? You had some beautiful beds being developed last year.
Deer love coneflowers! And columbine. And especially Hostas but usually the softer-leaved ones. They tend to leave the heavy, corrugated leaved Hostas alone if there are other goodies to eat. They'll even nip the tips of roses as well and they love Astilbe flowers. The only thing that's worked for me is putting up mesh fencing (the cheap way) and studying the possible access points. I still can't keep them from walking into the backyard off the street. Here, it's usually very early morning foraging.
Wow, Doug, I'm glad to see how haven't been wasting your time this spring.
I also love that Buddha. And your Juniper looks great!!
Like Ky, I'm also interested in how you protect your guys from the deer. I've pretty much given up. I think fencing is the only answer, but my property has a long road-front, so I can't imagine fencing the frontage. So I just cuss them out. And what about erosion control on your slope? My garden is basically a wooded hillside also, so I struggle trying to find a ground cover to hold the soil without letting loose the proverbial garden thug that would overwhelm everyone including the Great Buddha himself!
And how about last year's project?? Are you going to share some follow up pix?
Ky, I spent the better part of two summers clearing away all the choking honeysuckle from my wooded hillside yard.
It's 2 acres. I pulled by the roots those that I could, others I just cut to the ground.
The stumps resprout avidly, but if you keep snapping off the sprouts it will eventually give up the ghost.
I've been able to keep the yard pretty clear of the stuff ever since, though I'm constantly pulling seedlings.
But what I didn't realize was that all the native wildflowers being choked by the honeysuckle jungle are still laying dormant, waiting for an opportunity to spring to life.
Here is a picture of wild phlox in the cleared area the very next summer.
I didn't plant any of it!
There are also native trilliums, mayapples, bloodroot, geraneums, jack-in-the-pulpit, solomon seal...
Love the yellow Trillium! And the wild geranium is so pretty.
Would you believe that 20+ years ago, I purposely planted Hall's honeysuckle? On my back 45 degree slope, I was searching for something for cover to retard erosion. Never did flower well as a groundcover but occasionally a runner will make it up the fence where it does have a pretty yellow and white flower. Now it's mixed in with Vinca minor so it's doubtful I'll ever get rid of it unless I undertake a month-long project (not!). Seems like it'd be more of a challenge than getting rid of my Campanula rapunculoides.
There are over 25 acres of honeysuckle on just our side of the hill. I have managed to clear small areas, and make trails through the rest, lol. We need a team of gardeners/landscapers to live here, but that's for rich folk, sigh...
The deer aren't usually a big problem for me. I used to see a lot of them crossing over the hill but the last few years we have seen them less. (Until last year during the drought when they found out that I watered my woodland garden and things stayed green and fresh - instant Bambi salad bar..) I have never had a runoff problem either. I guess because it had a lot of poison ivy and virginia creeper before I started the garden it kinda helped hold the soil in place. I still mulch mostly with chopped leaves and pine needles so that mimics mother nature's leaf mold mulch. I'll try to get up there next week and shoot a few photos and post. I'm still weeding after being gone three weeks in April and May, plus working on the Asian Garden, a fern bog below that and transplanting some natives I don't think it will ever be done! It really is a joy to do though. I'd MUCH rather be up there on the hill than sitting in front of a TV
NO - the Campanula still lives and flowers. Grrr! Haven't made a serious attempt (another in a long series) on it yet this year. Have been pulling the flowering stalks before they open up though.
Your comment about the PI on the hillside - same thing here although I didn't know what PI looked like (especially the roots pulled during a January thaw) until after cortisone shot and antihistamines. Ugh! People at work treated me like a leper - especially a pregnant co-worker who thought I had the measles.
25 acres to take care of is daunting. Hats off to you, Doug.
I think DD is more challenged than I. Lives on top of a ridge in rural TN, well sunk in a shallow aquifer, battling bermuda grass and rocks, hauling water from her rain barrels, either too wet or too dry, long stretches of 90+ degree days - all to grow some pesticide-free veggies. Now that's determination.
I don't think I can live long enough to clear all 25 acres, but it's good exercise and keeps me busy, lol. It is pretty, smells nice, and feeds the birds, but like they say, too much of a good thing...
I also like the virginia creeper vines. We have some growing up the side of the house, which has cedar siding. Do you think that's okay, or should we pull it off? It's just a small area right now.
Unfortunately I've had the aruncus for many years, didn't keep a name, don,t remember where I got it. I've seen a number of pictures but they never look exactly like mine. Perhaps some om this forum with more knowledge will know.
Pirl got me interested in trying annual caladiums for color in the shady woodland.
They love our heat and humidity, apparently.
What she didn't tell me is that the deer apparently don't care for them!
I'm astonished. They look good enough to eat to me!
An all you can eat salad bar! The bad thing about the remaining stems is that you get to stare at them for the rest of the season. Been there.
Love the Caladium in the landscape. I had planned on trying that as well but my order got "lost" and bulbs didn't come until late June. Maybe once they sprout, I can slip them into the ground.
Cindy - plant them and they'll grow. I kept some in packages for too long but they were planted before June 4th and they are thriving now.
So happy it worked well for you, Weerobin. The deer did nibble on mine last year but only those in the front, not in the back. Your hostas look pitiful, as you know. Would you consider a large piece of the ugly green plastic coated fencing to place on top of the hostas so the deer can't get to them?
No. I go around sprinkling like it's fairy dust making sure I get the new growth and also put it on the grass leading to the lilies the rabbits prefer. Even the grass doesn't grow any better than the untreated grass.
Oh, Pirl, if you could take a glimpse at my yard, you'd see that I don't shy away from protective barriers.
My wife complains that our yard looks more like an armed fortress than a garden.
I've got hardware cloth cages for the small plants, bigger gauge wire cages in a variety of sizes for larger guys,
then of course there's the heavy duty plasting trunk protectors
to keep the deer antler rubbing from girdling my young trees.
But you can't cover everything! The hostas above are close enough to the house,
the deer haven't bothered them in the past. I guess the deer are getting friendlier!
Either we have an armed fortress garden or very few plants. It's a miserable choice but each deer eats eight pounds a day so we have no choice. They do eat the hosta flowers and spikes that grow through the squares in the green fencing.
The last thing we need is friendlier deer! Should we invite them over for venison stew?
I've battled the deer ever since we moved to our current home. My first attempt at a barrier across the 150 ft of my back property line consisted of a grid of "invisible" rope strung between trees. Then came the green snow fencing which turned brittle and broke up over the years. Last year my brother installed a woven mesh fencing for me. It's 6 ft tall and is attached to metal posts. My back property line is very rough and uneven, bordering a wooded wetlands so setting posts in concrete for a conventional chain link fence was going to be a lot of work. He just had to hammer these posts into the ground. And because he's a hunter, he knew the weakest points in my defense system. So far, the new setup seems to be working better than my previous attempts. Now if it would only keep the raccoons out...
We do have our battles and yet we don't give up. That's a mighty testament to our love of gardening.
While I hate the look of the deer mesh we had to put up to the 10' height around the vegetable garden, it does keep the deer out. It appears invisible here due to the time of day the photo was taken (1 PM) but it shows up in photos of the lilies on the opposite side.
We have gone OT so let's get back on track with shady gardening. Sorry!
I love Bottlebrush Buckeye also. Mine is in mostly shade and I have another in a pot I plan to put in mostly sun. It blooms for such a long time. Seems like mine has been blooming for weeks now. Nice fragrance too.
Paul, I again am lusting over your aruncus.
I have the taller (dioicus) and the shorter (aesthifolius).
But yours looks like one of the newer in-between cultivars.
I'll definitely be adding a couple to my yard next year.
Thanks for posting them.
My brunnera's are pretty much done for this year.
Foliage is getting pretty ratty.
Such a pretty plant in the spring/early summer.
But it doesn't age very gracefully in late summer/autumn.
My aruncus is possibly 20 years old. Don't even remember where I got it. I ought to take some divisions and put them in other places in the garden. I seem to recall reading once that if after bloom you cut brunnera way back they will send up some nice large fresh foliage. Might be worth a try.
This is an anemonopsis.
It isn't supposed to like our heat and humidity.
So of course, the day it blooms, it's 100 degrees here...
I suspect he's not very happy.
Flowers nod, so it's hard to get a good picture.
Now that I see the posted picture, you can see why my wife thinks our yard is more like a fortress than a garden. I didn't realize the cage to protect against bunnies and the fencing around my saplings to protect against the deer would by highlighted so prominently!
Beautiful photos and plants, Weerobin. That Deutzia is so lovely but they all are. Glad the caladiums worked out well for you. I love caladiums from Bill though they got a late start with our cool spring. Now they're strutting their stuff.
Many of my photos are ruined by our "fortress" look, too, Scott!
Weerobin, you have such an incredible variety of plants. Did you plant all of them or are some native and were growing on the property when you moved there?
I'm really loving all the shade plant varieties I'm seeing on this thread. I have one that came up and I have no idea what it is? Any guesses?
Love the variegated Deutzia and might have to add that to my "want" list. Funny about the "Hak" grass - my 'Aureola' is more robust than 'All Gold'. Great to see that your plants are holding up with all of the heat, Wee.
Bariolio, most of the plants I've posted are ones I've acquired, generally mail order,
since my tastes tend toward the obscure, which aren't likely to be at Lowe's. I like trying things out that I've never heard of. Some of them turn out nicely (and end up on Dave's), the rest are a bust. But I enjoy the process.
I do have a lot of natives. When I moved here 15yrs ago, my wooded lot was choked with non-native, invasive eurasian honeysuckle. Once I cleared out all the honeysuckle, I discovered lots of dormant native woodland wildflowers, including phlox, trillium, bloodroot, mayapple, celandine poppy, bluebells.
Here are a couple more shade-tolerant grass-like plants which I like.
This is a golden liriope (Peedee Ingot) with dwarf mondo (ophiopogon jap. nana).
I think their contrasting textures as well as colors is a nice combo.
So that's where the honeysuckle came from...we moved here from Kansas City, KS...the honeysuckle there musta stowed away in our luggage! Our woods are choked with it, and yes, the small areas I've cleared have bloomed with pretty wildflowers.
I have been enjoying this thread for quite a while, but haven't posted any pics (until now). What's so great is I have a mostly shady back yard and while many of the plants I'm seeing here are familiar to me, many I've never heard of or have never seen the particular ones listed.
I also tend to experiment with plants that shouldn't work in so little sun, sometimes with super results!
I HAVE to get some of the beautiful, colorful flowers many of you have posted!!
I noticed that some of you mentioned that your Brunnera 'Jack Frost' gets ratty after early Summer. I just planted one plant last Spring that I ordered from Bluestone as an experiment.
This picture was taken just this morning, and other than the fact that some insect did a little nibbling this Spring, I think they look pretty good. BTW, we've had temps in the low 90's the last week with very high humidity.
Edited to say: I love how it brightens the bed way in the back of my yard.
Thanks pirl - I love your Hydrangea. . . It's BEAUTIFUL!! What variety is it?
This is my very first ever Hydrangea bloom. I planted two very small "Cityline" Hydrangeas last Spring. This one is called 'Venice' and it grows between 1' - 3' tall. Right now it's only about 9" tall. I really like the color.
You can see that some of the leaves have a little yellowing. This is a small bed we created last Spring out of an area of the lawn that that was mostly clay & tends to retain a lot of water. We heavily ammended it with Cotton Burr compost, leaves, etc, but it will be a work-in-progress to get it right.
The other one is called 'Berlin' and I will probably have to move it since it sits where all the water collects and isn't growing as well.
This pic was taken during a time of day when it gets filtered sun.
My hydrangeas have been pretty puny this year; I'm not sure why.
Those hydrangeas are really pretty.
Welcome to the 'dark side' (AKA the shady forum), Nuts.
I think you'll find lots of types of hydrangeas that have evolving colors as the blooms age. Its one of the features I like best about them.
Be sure to post pix of those blooms!
I really like the fine texture of that euphorbia, Pirl.
I've been leary of euphorbias in general, since I've had some try to outrun me in the past. But if this one is more polite, maybe I'll give him a try.
Oops! I haven't controlled it at all. I thought it was spreading nicely only because of my outstanding gardening skills!! I didn't know it was an aggressive spreader. It's about 3-4 ft diameter presently. Is it enough of a nightmare for you that I should remove it? I've got plenty of other misbehaving plants; I don't need another problem child.
Come to think of it, I've had prior experience with a shade-tolerant grass which grew too rampantly. Imperata Red Baron looked really pretty the first couple years in one of my shady areas. But I have spent considerable time since then trying to rein it in. Here is a shot of it a few years ago when it was an innocent babe. (You'll notice of course the ubiquitous cages for varmint protection for a couple lovelies hidden from view).
Love your Brunnera! I agree with pirl, it is very lush.
Does your 'Imperata Red' spread by underground runners? I wonder if you could do something like is generally done with Mint . . .submerge a bottomless pot that's deep enough to prevent the roots from spreading?
I ended up pulling out my Carex and moving it to a more "wild" spot. I had it in a couple of different spots, initially loving the bold (for a grass) leaf texture and variegation. In my garden, the root mass would get pretty dense and tough and was really resistant to tugging the stray runners. Not as tough to remove as northern sea oats but definitely tougher than C. 'Ice Dance'. If it sneakily invades other plants, it becomes a real challenge. Additionally, the foliage looked pretty ratty by the end of the season. 'Ice Dance' runs but it's easier to control.
Pirl has a great suggestion about potting some of the thugs. Remember that grass called Phalaris arundinacea 'Variegata' offered years ago for shade? Terribly notorious for being invasive but silly me - I liked the variegation at a time when there was very little available for shade gardeners. Kept it in pots for years and the pots actually had the bottoms intact which I think is a little more critical when trying to control some of the aggressives. I do love the combo of the 'Red Baron' with the Brunnera.
I have kept a brethren of carex siderosticha variegata in a pot, where it looks nice.
This one is carex sid. Island Brocade. I think it's prettier, which is why I have it in a pot.
It also likes partial shade. Gets scorched in full sun, at least for me.
I have it in the yard also, where it hasn't been aggressive for me at all.
In fact, I wish it spread a little faster.
But who knows, it might be location, exposure, soil, etc, etc.
I have another area with Red Baron as backdrop to a japanese white pine.
I think it looks nice in the fall. Here's a picture from last fall.
In this picture, the hakonechloa to the left of the picture is looking pretty ragged,
but Red Baron still looks nice.
(Hey! Who put that flag in the middle of my picture??)!!
Pirl, I just may have to put up fencing - I just love those lilies!
I still plant hostas, despite the deer, because they look nice for spring/early summer,
before the deer find them.
But I gave up on lilies, because they NEVER get to blooming height before being mowed down. But I'm not sure I have the energy to put up fencing...
Hi, GE. It's nice having some astilbes still going strong.
Now that I see your astilbe pumila, looks a little like one I have.
A friend gave me what he simply called 'groundcover astilbe'.
It's blooming now. I wonder if it's pumila?
The foliage can't be seen well in this post, but it lays fairly flat to the ground.
The flowers are maybe 8-10".
Wee - re: fencing for your lilies - have you considered a temporary net fence? That's assuming your lilies are all in the same area. Once the metal posts are in the ground, it's easy enough to hang the netting. And you could put it up or take it down depending on the stage of your lilies. The black deer netting isn't so bad but I've opted for the green woven mesh "temporary" pet netting to keep them out of my garden. It stays up year round.
Liking the 'Island Brocade'. Kinda reminds me of young bamboo.
Does any of you shade gardeners have any "Sister Theresa" Astilbe. I am thinking of ordering just to fill in my shady back garden. My sister name is Theresa and I tought it would be nice to have a few .
I found it in few websites, American Medows, Santa Rosa gardens, but right now it is our of stock, hopefully in fall it will be back. It is a nice pale peachy pink and fluffy flowers. My garden yesterday was a crispy mess, I had to water it tree times around before it got to normal level. It is very hot and I can't skipp watering one day.
Gorgeous pics, everyone! I love Astilbes, especially. I think I need more!
I know I've said this over-and-over, but I swear by "Liquid Fence". We have deer year-'round, though we don't often see them during the Summer, because they usually just come at night. Starting in Autumn they also come during the day.
We love the deer as much as all the other critters & birds we see and wouldn't want them to stop coming, so it's a bit of a compromise. I don't want fences everywhere so I use Liquid Fence.
I used to buy it by the gallon, but this year I bought the quart-size concentrate which makes 4 gallons (shop around, though. Prices vary. I never buy from nurseries - way overpriced. In my area places like Farm & Fleet, Menards and Meijers have the best prices). The concentrate will probably last me at least through next Summer (I store it in the basement in a sealed plastic bag to keep it from freezing in winter).
You don't need to spray it constantly. They recommend once-a-week for three weeks to "train" the deer (or rabbits, chipmunks, or?) then once-a-month. I tend to spray additionally if we've had several really hard rains, or when there is a lot of new growth on their favorite plants. It is non-toxic . . .won't hurt the critters even if they decide to take a bite . . .smells for a day, then fades, but the critters will still smell it.
The only downside is it sometimes makes the leaves look a little "dull" for a while if you spray too heavily, but for me it's better than looking through fences or staring at plants that have had their blooms or leaves "chomped" off. For me it's a "Win-Win" situation.
We used Liquid Fence last year. When they were absent for the last six weeks we felt they went back to their own area - what a mistake. The very idea of spraying while the heat index was at 99 before 10 AM is just not possible. By the time we can spray the deer will still be in their learning phase and the daylilies will be gone in three weeks.
pirl - The rain might be headed your way (fingers crossed).
You know, after the very first time you spray Liquid Fence the deer won't touch the plants. You don't have to wait three weeks. If it cools down enough to be outside at night, it might be worth trying to spray a few areas.
bariolio, I have very acid soil. Some plants do indeed like it, especially the rhododendron and mountain Laurel. But there are many others and lots and lots of trees, including the dogwood. The hydrangeas are always very blue, somethimes even a little purple. Blackberries and raspberries thrive, both the wild ones and the cultivated ones..
KyWoods wrote:So that's where the honeysuckle came from...we moved here from Kansas City, KS...the honeysuckle there musta stowed away in our luggage! Our woods are choked with it, and yes, the small areas I've cleared have bloomed with pretty wildflowers.
This message was edited Jul 19, 2011 12:03 PM
Hello fellow Kansas Citian! I am from Westport/Plaza area myself. I moved to SC back in 08'.