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Shady Gardens: What can I plant here ?

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smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

May 25, 2012
11:50 AM

Post #9138238

What can I plant here? These are pine tree's. Thanks for any idea's. LuLu

Thumbnail by smellthis
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l6blue
Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4b)

May 25, 2012
12:05 PM

Post #9138255

Are you looking for foliage plants, flowering plants, or groundcover? Pachysandra or sweet woodruff are good groundcover choices for under evergreens.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

May 25, 2012
12:18 PM

Post #9138272

Not picky as wejust moved here and I love all plants and flowers, Looking for idea's right now. Don't want something too invasive as it connects right to lawn. Just getting idea's on what would do good under pine tree's, shady and all. And it slopes there to. I will try to find pic's of the ones you mentioned. Would fern's do good here? I have free acess to alot in our woods...
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 25, 2012
12:27 PM

Post #9138283

What are your conditions (wet, dry, sunny, shady)? And what is your soil like? I am guessing the conditions are shady and fairly dry (because of the trees), and the soil is standard woodland soil (nothing special), but let us know.

smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

May 25, 2012
12:29 PM

Post #9138289

Yes that sounds about right---I live in Wisconsin so it gets cold to.Shady little sun in afternoons.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 25, 2012
12:31 PM

Post #9138293

I'm currently on a bigroot geranium kick -- see, for example, http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/82930/, but there are lots of varieties. According to PlantFiles, these are good to zone 4a.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

May 25, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9138297

OOOhhh I like that to! I think that would work nicely ;-) So do I need to find seeds or plant??
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

May 25, 2012
1:22 PM

Post #9138356

You can try Hellebores and Epimedium plants. Helebores do not require sun to bloom. Epimedium has a bloom in the spring, and the heart-shaped foliage tends to change color in the fall. There are a number of others that bloom in the spring and continue to provide nice foliage all summer and into the fall.

A lot of things will grow in your area, but as an experienced below tree planter, I wonder if you will have a problem digging through the tree roots. You might like to try ferns also. I don't find any of these invasive or hard to control. Ground covers like pachysandra and Aegopodium should be avoided. Plants like polygonium are difficult to contain as well. Hosta is easier to cultivate and somewhat easier to contain. Do you have deer?

Again, please check to see if you can get a shovel into the ground without breaking it (the shovel).

Marcia
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 25, 2012
1:39 PM

Post #9138383

The bigroot geranium will grow if you lie them on top of the soil and add enough soil to cover the roots -- you don't have to dig a hole for them.

I don't know if they can be grown from seed. They do divide easily. I have read that the one I grow ('Ingwersen's Variety') is less aggressive than some of the others; if you are looking for a quick cover, you might look to the species (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2784/). When looking at comments there, someone wrote that rabbits are a pest...

LazyS sells it for $8.99 a quart (http://www.lazyssfarm.com/Plants/Perennials/G_files/G.htm#PERD024049) . Actually, they seem to have 4 varieties. You won't need many plants to get going... Maybe you can find it locally.

I wasn't very successful on seeds. Here is one source: http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/628. I can see if mine produced seed and send you some if you like.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

May 25, 2012
1:58 PM

Post #9138416

Okay--decided to just go with ferns for the time being. Not sure what kind they are. But I have acess to a whole bunch of these. Maybe they will live ?...

Thumbnail by smellthis   Thumbnail by smellthis
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cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

May 25, 2012
2:01 PM

Post #9138422

I have similar tall ferns in my shade garden as well as some Japanese painted fern. They die down in the winter weather and reliably return each spring (the Japanese painted fern start to grow later than the others).
plantnutz
Austell, GA
(Zone 7a)

May 25, 2012
2:59 PM

Post #9138524

Hosta!
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 26, 2012
12:19 AM

Post #9138952

The ferns look lovely!

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2012
7:00 AM

Post #9142964

I see you have a wild columbine growing there too. They should do very well under those trees too. I have some growing under both pine and magnolia trees that create a lot of competition with the trees roots, but they grow wonderfully.

Doug
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

May 29, 2012
9:01 AM

Post #9143161

postmandug--I thought thats what that was--was going to ask--there are quiet a few in the woods here, will have to get somemore ;-)
pjo
Harrison County, WV
(Zone 6a)

June 10, 2012
9:06 AM

Post #9159149

I planted Ostrich Ferns in my shade garden under a large pine tree. They are easy maintenance but I do remove the dead leaves in the spring. I don't bother the brown fronds that form in the middle---looks like a brown/black feather about a foot high. It contains spores.

Thumbnail by pjo   Thumbnail by pjo
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happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

June 11, 2012
9:40 AM

Post #9160652

That's beautiful! Do you give any supplemental water? I can think of just the place where I would like to replicate that! How fast did the ferns take to fill in?
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

June 11, 2012
10:12 AM

Post #9160730

PJO that is really beautiful!!!
pjo
Harrison County, WV
(Zone 6a)

June 13, 2012
8:55 AM

Post #9163508

smellthis and happy--macomb - Thanks for the compliments. The Ostrich Ferns are planted along an old low wall about two feet high. Where they are planted is about 15 ft. x 8 ft. The tree is a Norway Spruce and it stands at least 80 - 90 ft. high and the overhang is about 60 ft. wide. I'm guessing the tree is about 80 years old. I hope it lives a lot longer as I depend on it for my shade garden and it's a beautiful old tree.

I seldom water the ferns and we have a lot of clay soil here. Usually the natural rainfall is sufficient but if it's really hot and dry I water them. When I first planted them, I added humus and top soil and I use pine mulch. I thought since the pine tree drops tons of needles I should keep it consistent but I don't know if it matters. They were started in 2004 and it took about four years to really fill in but I only started with three. They spread nicely and when they go in the wrong direction, I dig them and rearrange and they don't seem to mind. I also placed stones through them so I can clean out any debris without stepping on them.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

June 22, 2012
7:29 PM

Post #9176630

I just came in from outside--Will try to post new pics tomorrow. I added some bigroot geranium's--and hosta I think once I mulch a bit it's going to look really nice once it all starts spreading a bit. I'm pretty happy with it ;-) Even got one fancy big leaf hosta (william something) I found a lady near me who has a Beautiful yard, sunny gardens--woodland gardens, and she divides stuff up and sales it as she needs to, at very resonable prices (hosta plain green/white $3---big root geranium $5--the fancy hosta was like $12--ginger was $3) She had ton's of stuff. I know I'll be back! But I'll post pictures tomorrow and see what ya'll think of it. Oh and I got something called Angelica she said it gets big and has purple flowers???...
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

June 23, 2012
6:38 AM

Post #9176996

Gosh - how does your neighbor sell her plants? A sign in the yard, an online ad? Great way to finance the new plant budget. I hate to just toss plants into the compost pile.
Is your new plant Angelica gigas? Always thought that would be a fun plant to grow.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

June 23, 2012
7:42 AM

Post #9177066

It was just a sign like a Yard Sale sign that said Plant Sale, so I proceeded to check it out ;-) If she has something you'd want, I could get it for you and mail it---Yes it's Angelica Gigas--I just looked it up, I've never had one before and the ginger I have never had--but it's a pretty plant.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

June 23, 2012
1:20 PM

Post #9177392

Okay here is the pic I promised.

Thumbnail by smellthis
Click the image for an enlarged view.

plantnutz
Austell, GA
(Zone 7a)

June 23, 2012
4:56 PM

Post #9177647

Looks nice! I see hosta in there.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

June 24, 2012
6:45 AM

Post #9178217

That's going to fill in nicely over the next couple of seasons. Thanks for your offer, smellthis, but I was thinking of a humane way to get rid of my unwanted plants. :)
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

June 24, 2012
8:04 AM

Post #9178364

Send them to me ;-)
pjo
Harrison County, WV
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2012
8:19 AM

Post #9178391

smellthis - you did a good job with that. It should fill in nicely for you.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

June 24, 2012
10:15 AM

Post #9178533

DD gets first call on anything unwanted. She's currently in limbo between houses and I'm currently holding about 10 plants in pots for her. But it does answer my own dilemma of how to make more space for new plants. I'll keep you in mind on the next purging.
smellthis
Shell Lake, WI

June 24, 2012
4:21 PM

Post #9178989

Thank you- I will gladly pay shipping!

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