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Was digging out Bishops Weed from the heaped with large rocks bed ( also rocks planted in the ammended soil..).at my new place. Took backward tumble. Was Very lucky as hit the pile of baptisima plants instead of the large rocks on either side. Going to put down landscape fabric and build up a small raised rock garden (from edge of bed!)
I live in 5a, as it will be raised won't have to deal with solid clay, will be in almost total shade. Will probable get a tat extra water when I do the ferns on edge of bed.
Any help would be appreciated..still amazed that I got by with just being a bit stiff!
Very lucky. I have been looking in books..probably will have to focus on dry shade plants and neat rocks. Will probably check out the Flower Factory to see what is available. From what I undestand, alpine likes scree (finely chipped stone..I want to use loam..just not have to keep it watered regularly.
Check out pictures at North American Rock Garden society website.
Lots of rock garden plants for both sun and shade. Lots of beauties are pictured there.
You won't find any of the plants shown at Lowe's or even your local nursery.
But there are several excellent on-line nurseries selling choice rock garden stock.
One plant that could work well for you is arabis caucausica. I have been growing it for the last ten years in what was clay but has been corrected with compost. I have in on both the north side of my house as well as the west side. I recently established some under a crabapple. It slowly and beautifully spreads, and out of flower forms a gray/green mat.
I totally neglect it! It comes back and gets bigger every year.
Will do some checking. Rescued huge clumps of moss roses..will let them seed out in the bed (when I get it made).
Just finishing bringing the last of the plants over from old place..and am "curb appealing" it with the hostas and daylilies from here.
Will be great to garden just in one place, as have lost so many plants to heat/drought..just couldn't keep up with the watering.
Hope next year is nicer!
Donna: Your Arabis is lovely. I have some growing in a rock wall and love it -- but I never tried it on the ground. Is it drought tolerant? How much shade will it take? I have a spot in mind if you say 'yes' and 'lots'...
It's quite drought tolerant. I neglect it until it is wliting and losing sections. Then you water it and POW! It comes right back. It will take quite a bit of shade. I have some in full sun and some on the north side of my house, and the one in less sun is three times as big, and much happier.
Mine is under a big mature crabapple that and gets very little sun. I'll forget to water it for a couple of weeks and it starts to look shriveled. Then I say, oh!, water it, and it continues to spread.
The patch I showed you above has been in for a good ten years of mostly neglect. It got almost no water this summer. It just gets bigger and bigger every year. That's why I established it at my new house. It can be a little iffy for the first month or two and then it becomes ironclad. Interesting that it is known mostly as an alpine plant. I established it during a drought this year.
I love this plant. It just sparkles in the spring. I round the corner every spring and POP! There it is. So cheerful.
I have dry shade in zone 4b, so you should have luck with some of the plants that work well for me. Sweet woodruff, cranesbill geraniums, lamium (I like Herman's Pride, as some of the others are too invasive), some hostas, pachysandra, hellebores, foxglove, solomon's seal, lady's mantle, heuchera, and tiarella all work for me. My soil is very sandy, and doesn't hold moisture well at all. If you are using loam in a raised bed, your soil won't be as dry as mine. I hope this helps!
I agree w/ Happy, I can't imagine a more content lady's mantle.
I definitely find lady's mantle needs good drainage. Open situation in partial shade best around here.
They fry in full sun, sulk in full shade, & rot in normal garden soil. Other than that, not fussy at all.
There are some adorable smaller species (alchemilla alpina, ellenbacki and erythropda) which I think are even nicer, but they are even more insistent on sharp drainage.
Well, you certainly nailed it, Weerobin. In the early years before the crabapple became enormous, they would fry. Once thee crabapple shaded it, I got picture book lady's mantle. I took it for granted. They were planted in the usual "scrape off the top soil" crud, but I would apply compost around them every year. They got huge, some 2 feet across.
Here, they sulk in full shade. I think that, with your keen observations, I know where to plant them in spring. It's an area of relatively unimproved soil (the previous owner was the leaf mulch king, but used less compost than I do, and I don't think they liked compost underneath them).
I think that was threw me was that the coral bells near it thrived, and boy did I abuse some of them when I brought them over!
I threw one in a pot all winter and forgot to water it (pic 1, April of 2012). I almost threw it away.
It rose from the dead (pic 2, May 20, 2012)
I moved seven heuchera. They all thrived.
I though they were fussy. But not as fussy as lady's mantle!
Oops. I was going to attach a picture of one of the smaller alchemillas which I use in a shaded rock garden.
It's smaller size and finer overall texture is more suitable for rock garden situations.
And it needs the sharp drainage of a rock garden definitely.
This is alchemilla erythropoda.
You can see how small the leaves are in comparison with the dead leaves nearby.
My favorite is alchemilla alpina, but I couldn't find a picture.
It is even smaller and it's leaves have a fine white outline which highlights the pleated texture.
Looks really cute in a small rock garden.
Now I'm looking around to find a supplier. I think I may just wait and go to a nursery a few miles away that is like my old one - Platt Hill Nursery in Carpentersville. It's terrific. I got several nice miscanthus late in the season from them. I may spin by there and see if they have lady's mantle. I like picking my own plant and deep sixing the shipping charges. They had it this season, so they'll have it in spring.
Weerobin, I get the best ideas from you. I love the Deutzias. Inspired by you, I have embraced my shade, and I just love the little treasures I put in it.