Help me plan my plantings for this corner shade garden

(Zone 4b)

The last couple of weeks I came down with year end 'garden fever' ;) and so for 'treatment' I proceeded to do some of the basic work starting a new corner garden by expropriating some backyard lawn. This quarter circle is about 130 square feet and experiences very much shade. As well future plants will have to contend with competition from neighbouring trees (see picture below).

And although I have never been bitten by the hosta bug I think with all this shade I feel I need to revisit this plant.

After lots of web browsing I am intrigued by what I have seen of the "Liberty" hosta. It looks like the hosta for non-hosta lovers? A very impressive plant.

And so to this end I was thinking of planting 3 equally spaced "Liberty" on the front border arc with some all season flowering plant in between. (I would have liked this to be a shade impatiens but I will force myself to not select this plant given my experience with "downy mildew" this past summer.)

In the very back corner I am thinking of putting a single Eleutherococcus [Acanthopanax] sieboldianus 'Variegatus' shrub.

After the front and very back accounted for I think there still would be room for something in between.....maybe an arc of some "Ligularia"?

Of course I would love to hear your recommendations re plant possibilities and arrangement for this area.

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Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

There's nothing like starting with a clean slate. It'll be interesting to see which plants you decide to use and others recommend.

Depending on preference and whether or not you're looking for filler plants, Heucheras, Tiarellas, Astilbes, Dicentras, and Columbines come to mind, as well as native Ferns.
If you want to choke the weeds out, Ajuga is hard to beat for a ground cover.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

How nice - I rarely get to 'plan' a planting - mine are more typically helter skelter.
With the root competition, will it be moist enough for ligularia?
I actually love hostas - but have lost most of mine due to our deer friends.
Acanthaponax won't be browsed of course due to it's thorniness,
which is a good reason to have it tucked in the back. Mine tend to be a little floppy,
but minimal pruning shapes them up readily.
I like cyclamen, corydalis, bloodroot for shady areas with tough root competition.
But all are seasonal bloomers, so won't give you season-long color.
I like focusing on foliage rather than bloom for shade. That's where hostas can help, of course.
I also like shady grasses, especially hakonechloa, for the textural element.
I hope you'll post pictures of whatever you decide on!

(Zone 4b)

Quote from Weerobin :
- mine are more typically helter skelter.[/quote]

I bet you that describes most of us "Weerobin"!

Quote from Weerobin :
I actually love hostas - but have lost most of mine due to our deer friends.[/quote]

I don't have to worry about deer for this garden as the deer are on the other side of that chain link fence!



Quote from Weerobin :
Acanthaponax won't be browsed of course due to it's thorniness,
which is a good reason to have it tucked in the back. Mine tend to be a little floppy,
but minimal pruning shapes them up readily.[/quote]

So you actually have a variegated 'acanthopanax'? How old? How large? Any pictures you could post?


[quote="Weerobin"]I like cyclamen, corydalis, bloodroot for shady areas with tough root competition.


Good idea about the 'corydalis' as Lutea will bloom almost all season. I can tuck a few in here and there amongst the organized arcs of plantings.

[quote="Weerobin"]I like focusing on foliage rather than bloom for shade. That's where hostas can help, of course.


I know one is supposed to feel that way about shady gardens but I do want "real" flowers and I don't want this to be a 'hosta garden'! But it may be the case that such colour may almost exclusively come from annuals.

[quote="Weerobin"]I also like shady grasses, especially hakonechloa, for the textural element.


Another good suggestion. I have several "All Gold" plants in other locations on our property.


Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I have a new, similarly shady bed at my house and filled it with:

Oakleaf hydrangeas (one Snowflake and two Snow Queen)
Epimedium x versicolor sulphurum
Heuchera Firefly
Fragaria vesca reugen
An early blooming red peony (Burma Joy - and yes, it bloomed!)
Athyrium nipponicum Pictum
Athyrium nipponicum Ursula's Red
Athyrium Branford Beauty
Athyrium Branford Rambler
I preserved a pure white aguilegia and a dicentra that were already present.

The pokeweed was a surprise!

It's all quite new, but I think the pics help. I moved in last December so these images from May 2012 show pretty much what is there.
I moved hardy geraniums from another part of the garden

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South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

Here's sections of my shade garden.
Filed with Dicentra Formosa, Hostas, Dicentra Spectabilis, Dicentra Luxuriant, Sweet Woodrift, Vinca, Lamium. Dicentra Valentine, Dicentra Alba, Ferns, Lily of the Valley, Snow on the Mountain, 4 leafed clovers etc.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)


I don't just have one, I have 3 ... I have no idea why. Probably 10yr old.
I didn't have any pictures of acanthopanax - frankly, usually means it's not one of my faves.
So I went out and took some this afternoon - a little bedraggled due to the time of year.
First picture doesn't show up well, but it shows the sprawl of the plant - it layers.
2nd & 3rd pictures are closer shots of the foliage.
4th shows the annoying (and painful) thorns. Ouch!
It's not the showiest plant, but serves a purpose by being vigorous and easy in shade.
No flowers, no fall color... Maybe a viburnum would be better, if not super deep shade?

This message was edited Nov 9, 2012 4:30 PM

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South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

Heres Blue Ivory Hosta. Really stands out in the garden.
Lily of the Valley in bloom,
Lamiun,
Lamium, Snow on the Mountain and Sweet Woodrift
Oriental Lilies blooming in the shade

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(Zone 4b)

Quote from DonnaMack :
I have a new, similarly shady bed at my house and filled it with:

Oakleaf hydrangeas (one Snowflake and two Snow Queen)


You are being cruel Donna, leading me to believe "Snowflake" could thrive in my (too) shady plot!

Any idea how much shade they can take and do well?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I've grown oak leaf hydrangeas in a variety of settings.
Mine have always languished in shade, even in an open woodland setting.
I think they need at least some sun to thrive.
Tardive hydrangeas have performed better for me in open shade.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

My transplanted Snowflake bloomed. My Snow Queens were newly installed. I had to heavily water Snowflake in full sun. I read that it should be put in partial to full shade. That's why I put it there, and that's where it is in the picture.

It is a very popular understory plant. Mine is under very large maples from a neighbor's yard. I do water them. I had Snow Queen at home and did not water them, and they failed. I don't think you can put them out there and let the, dry out. My Snow Queens here are in mostly shade. I installed them in April and they have doubled in size. The other plants in the area are ferns, hardy geraniums, and a dicentra.

What can I tell you? I can only relate my own experiences. I do think you get better fall color in sun.

I have a suggestion. Telephone or email Plant And Gnome:

http://www.plantandgnome.com/new_page_6.htm

I got mine from him. He is highly rated on GW, including my review:

http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/2494/

His plants are cheap, cheap, cheap - and HUGE! I got 3 three-foot bareroot Snow Queens for $70 this last spring - including shipping.

He will be honest with you. I've talked to him more than once. He's a darling. Ask him what he thinks.

(Zone 4b)

Thanks Donna and Weerobin. The permutations and combinations of plant selection for a new garden are wide and varied...lots of fun to do over the winter.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

The exploration is half the fun. I've started my winter dreaming/researching/reading phase.

Oh, and as an addendum to SP, I found that Orientals and trumpets, as well as some orienpets, really do bloom in quite a bit of shade. A real treat.

South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

Most of my Lilies have bloomed in the shade.
They stay longer if the rabbits don't gnaw on there stems.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I've been growing lilies for years, and mistaken;y thought that only martagons bloomed in the shade. Then I moved to a garden with a lot of shade and didn't know what to do, until I read a thread about orienpets blooming in shade. I thought, what's an orienpet but a trumpet and an oriental, so I started trying it. I then discovered that some of them actually stay in bloom longer, and stay truer in color, in the shade. So far Silk Road, Anastasia, White Henryi (in a quite dark spot), and regale have done really well. So I was able to take some of those locations and put less tolerant perennials there. Really cool.

I fight off lily loving rabbits with very small daffodils nearby. The rabbits know them to be poisonous, and I utilize small daffs so I don't have big strapping foliage everywhere.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I too have had success with oriental lilies blooming in the shade. Ever since I discovered that they weren't just for sun, I've been adding a few each year to my woodland garden. I love that they add color in late summer.

South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

We have a late season - ours bloom in Sept/October.
Adds lots of color to my blue/green garden.


rouge21, where are you located at?
I noticed that you are in zone 5b.

(Zone 4b)

Interesting about lilies and shade. Are any of these 'shade lilies' susceptible to the lily beetle?

Keep the ideas coming as I have all winter to ruminate over the possibilites!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Silver Sunburst also did beautifully in shade.

From what I have read, from the comments above, and from what I have seen, Trumpets and Orienpets are a lock. I also had a friend with a Casa Blanca lily in almost complete shade that bloomed but needed to be staked. I was willing to experiment because if a lily is languishing in shade you need only dig it up and move it - assuming you have some sun to move it to! I moved some from my old house in high heat from sunny locations because they were getting no water and they were not going to bloom. I would literally dig up the clump, put it in the trunk of my car (cooler than the seat in 80 plus degree weather) and then put it in the ground with plenty of water at the new house in shade.

I think that no lily is immune from the lily beetle. We do not have them in the Midwest, at least not yet. The japanese beetle is enough of a scourge. I grow lilies here in isolation - I have not seen them in yards within five miles of my house (I'm a runner) and there were almost none in my old community. I think that the complete lack of interest in the host plants for the beetle here protect me. I also am very careful about the source of my lilies. My most recent gifts were from Alaska. Other than that, I stick with the reliable vendors.

Please see these pictures. Three years ago a kitty friend of mine passed away and the owner asked if I would put a lily at the site. It is in complete shade on the north side of the yard under a tree. It is White Henryi and it not only bloomed with no fertilizer or extra water for the last three years, but the color was beautiful. It did need to be staked, but here is one of the stems this past July.

And here it is in May of this year, coming up surrounded by the usual annoying creeping Charlies, wild strawberries and maple plants! What a lily!

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Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I have about 10 different varieties, including Casa Blanca. Have not had problems with lily beetle yet. First picture is 'Casa Blanca' blooming in the wake of hurricane storm damage in July. Second picture is an asiatic lily 'Satin Slippers'. Looking at my inventory, I have martagon, oriental, and asiatic lilies - all are doing well in the shade. I saw orienpets for the first time this summer in a friend's garden. They have huge blossoms - beautiful.

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(Zone 4b)

UPDATE:

On Saturday I added almost another cubic yard of 'garden soil' (which will make about 2.5 cubic yards of such soil in total + many bags of shredded leaves and garden clipplings just beneath the surface) and then I added rough stone edging to finish off the bones of the space (see updated picture). I now have about 150 square feet virgin shade garden to plant in starting this coming spring. Keep the ideas coming!

This message was edited Nov 28, 2012 11:19 AM

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Rogue,

I was reading back through your threads and realized that, like me, you want some color. For me, it was red. So I put in Burma Joy before, added two Burma Sunset, coral bells that bloomed in red, and the very shade tolerant, very red Charles de Mills rose. You don't need much.

Or pink? How about hydrangea macrophylla - a reblooming one? In my soil the flowers were pink.

That way you don't have to rely only on annuals for color.

And another suggestion. Cardinal Flower - red lobelia. I was delighted to find them in the yard, started by the previous owner, and making it through the creeping Charlie!"

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Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Rouge, I've had a thought (ouch!); what about Hellebores? While many say "light shade", many of those actually do really well in full shade, and of course the ones like Double Queen and Brushstrokes will do well in full shade. They'll give you late or early blooming, depending on how ya look at the time of year. ;)

Also, how much do you have your heart set on the Acanthopanax all the way in the back of the bed? I was wondering how you'd like a Schipp Laurel back there? I've got a few out in my front yard in full sun, and we've got several along the back porch at work in FULL shade, and they seem to thrive equally well in both conditions. They're a really rich deep lustrous green and get a gorgeous smothering of little white blooms in the Spring which attracts bees galore, something that I love.

Anyway, just a couple ideas that popped into my head as I was reading the thread here. Hope you're having fun with your new area! =)

(Zone 4b)

speedlebean I do appreciate your input. I do not have my heart set on 'Acanthopanx'. From the description it seemed like it was made for that back corner i.e. manageably large, interesting foliage and able to thrive in dry deep shade. I will check out 'Schipp Laurel' but given your hardiness zone I am thinking it won't be hardy to my zone 5b.

I am surprised to say this but I have not one 'Hellebore' on my property. For no real good reason I can think of I have resisted these plants. But maybe now is the time to consider them for this new garden. I really do not know much about 'Hellebores' except being early bloomers and able to take (lots of) shade. I will need some help in selecting the 'best and brightest' ;).

This message was edited Nov 11, 2012 6:49 PM

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Speedie, we are on the same page with the hellebores suggestion. I just got back on-line to check DG and was thinking that I would come to this thread and recommend hellebores - voila, you read my mind (or I was reading yours LOL). Rouge, I planted my first five helebores three years ago. They have done so well in every way, that I just purchased about 30 more at a fall plant sale from Judy Tyler of Pine Knot Farms. You said you don't have a deer problem, so the fact that they completely leave hellebores alone is much more of a plus for me than it would be for you. However, the other wonderful things about them are that they are very low maintenance, are evergreen, and bloom in late winter. It is easy to find shade lovers that bloom in the spring, but it is more challenging to get color in winter and late summer/fall.

Pine Knot Farms is one of the best known helebores suppliers in the United States, and Judy Tyler has co-authored a very informative book that won an AHS award. As a side note, Judy is a very sweet lady and although I am a complete novice on hellebores, she spent about 20 minutes chit chatting with me at the plant sale. If you want to check out a hellebores catalog to see the many different kinds that are available in the market, check out their web site http://www.pineknotfarms.com/

(Zone 4b)

Quote from DonnaMack :
Rogue,

I was reading back through your threads and realized that, like me, you want some color. [/quote]

You know me Donna and you are definitely an enabler having convinced me to drive 50 minutes each way to pick up a "Balloon flower" in late August for my garden!

My wish is that much of this colour come from true flowers rather than from foliage. I don't want this new plot to be a "hosta, heuchera garden".


Quote from DonnaMack :


Burma Joy before, Burma Sunset, Charles de Mills rose. You don't need much.[/quote]

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know what species BJ and BS ;) are part of...can you enlighten me? And I think you are right also in that it wouldn't take many plants that flower reliably in the shade to give the impression of lots of colour provided they are surrounded by certain interesting foliage plants.

Quote from DonnaMack :
Or pink? How about hydrangea macrophylla - a reblooming one? In my soil the flowers were pink.


I am still pondering your interesting suggestion of Oakleaf hydrangeas for the back corner (instead of my reliable but boring Eleutherococcus [Acanthopanax] sieboldianus 'Variegatus').

[quote="DonnaMack"]That way you don't have to rely only on annuals for color.


It may be the case for a year or two that I will need to rely on annuals for colour...until the other plants take hold and fill in the space.

[quote="DonnaMack"]And another suggestion. Cardinal Flower - red lobelia. "


Thanks for the reminder as this is a plant I have always wanted to try but have never got around to using it. Thanks.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Rouge, I totally understand your desire for "interesting foliage" for that back shrub, and the desire for the Acanthopanax for that very reason. I, too, am really a "foliage person", most of what I buy and plant are for the foliage. (not everything, mind you; hence the Pink Mums! heeheeheee), but for the most part, yeah, it's all about the foliage. That's why I got those laurels. I'm pretty darned sure they are hardy from zones 4-9, and I'd nearly bet my beloved TRUCK that they are most certainly hardy for your 5b.
I also was not, in the beginning, NOT "a Hosta Person"... until I got my first ones last year. Oh dear, now I'm hooked. The wonderful enablers here at DG have hooked me up with some FABULOUS ones this past September at Sally's at the plant swap, and they are now happily snuggled into their homes out back, ready for winter... can't WAIT to see them burst forth next Spring. Like you, I really like the Liberty, and I'm also really hooked on the Patriots. (yes, I've got one of those now, whee!!) You might consider, if you've got the space for a "specimen" Hosta, a Patriot as well, they are gorgeous!!

Another interesting note, as I was talking about my Mums earlier.. I've got 2 rows of them; one on either side of my front porch. One side gets FULL afternoon sun (from about 11:30 'til dusk), the other side gets FULL FULL SHADE, never sees a wink of sunlight EVER. That row of Mums are thriving just as fat-and-happily as the full-sun side are, and I can't explain why or how. So, an idea for you.... start checking out your local small nursery/garden centers and see what sorts of sales they've got for their old and tired mums... end-of-season sales. They may look yucky now, but that's ok; you should get a GREAT price for some wonderful Fall colour next year. I'd be willing to bet they'd thrive in your happy soil there, even in all that shade.

Let's see.... some other ideas.... Virginia Bluebells, Brunnera, (gorgeous blue blooms), Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), ... those are truly a 'woodland' flower, so should do well around and amongst the tree roots you've mentioned... How about a fern or 2 for foliage contrast and texture? I think someone already mentioned Dicentra (bleeding hearts)? Those are lovely too, as are Columbines.... all of these ideas are hardy in your zone, by the way. :)

May I just say, thank you for letting us all chime in with our ideas for your plan. Whatever you end up deciding to do, I'm sure it will be wonderful and can't WAIT to see pictures as it progresses along! What fun!!! =)

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Forgive me, Rogue. Sometimes I get carried away and don't think.

Burma Joy is a red single peony. Early blooming red single peonies will bloom in the shade. The pic I showed you of the Snowflake is at NOON. I get very little sun in the part of my yard where they are. I have a towering oak and a towering maple. The light is dappled at best. This is as intense as the light gets. It's darker the rest of the time. The peony Burma Joy is in the upper left corner of pic 1). I was growing it under a huge crabapple at home. (pic 2). It bloomed anyway.

So I brought it to this darker location and got this (pic 3). So I ordered two more similar peonies to add color.

Gallica roses bloom only once, but in shade and for 6-8 weeks. Charles de Mills is one such rose. Here's Chuckie:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/rosesant/msg112202462867.html

There is a white columbine in my yard that I just love. You have to tolerate the leaf miners but I love this guy. I also have a dicentra. The only thought is that it, like virginia bluebells, go completely dormant and disappear. So not only will you have a hole but you have to make sure you don't dig there.

But DO be careful of lily of the valley. The previous owner had them and they took over, killing everything in their path. I have removed at least 500.

And I have a bunch of ferns. They are quite wonderful. Athyrium nipponicum Ursulas Red in pic 4. It's there all season.

Under the shade of a big crabapple at my old house are the shade plants the crabapple protected from the sun, which are now even happier in my new yard. The heuchera in pic 5 is the heuchera in my new yard in pic 1.

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(Zone 4b)

Wonderful pictures Donna. Thank you...they help.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

And I thank you too Donna, for mentioning that about the Lily of the Valley, I didn't realize they can be so thuggish... I have to be honest, I was just picturing the "shady tables" at work and sharing what all I could remember, I've not grown LotV myself.
Your Heuchera in pic 5 is beautiful!!

(Zone 4b)

Quote from speediebean :
Your Heuchera in pic 5 is beautiful!!


I think I have the same one in several of my established gardens. Might it be "Paris" or "Lipstick"? I have both and I choose them *because* of their wonderful flowers.

(Zone 4b)

Quote from SPGardens :
Dicentra Valentine,


SP, I planted "Valentine" this past June or July and had to move it at least once :( so it wasnt happy all summer. I am hoping it arises from its dormancy next spring and I am hoping for great things from this plant. I have a several year old Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart) which is wonderful but is the only difference between it and "Valentine" the colour of the flowers ie more true red from "Valentine" (as compared to pink for 'spectabilis'?).

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

It is Heuchera sanguinea Firefly. I got the seeds from JL Hudson. Have a peek down this page:

http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/SeedlistH.htm

I kept buying heucheras years ago. They would last a year or two. I loved a couple with red flowers - Monet, with its variegated foliage, and Cherries Jubilee. But they got more and more expensive. Replacing CJ when it was $7.99 I could do, but when it went up to $13.99 I threw up my hands and quit. Then I saw Firefly. I ordered three from Bluestone. Two of the three did well. I divided one of them and it was fine. And if you cut back the flowers, they rebloom.

But I wanted about ten. I started, according to my records, 16 seeds and ended up with four plants. But what plants! So much tougher and stronger than the ones I bought! I have since divided a couple of them. They are essentially evergreen. And unlike the ones I purchased they don't heave. They are fragrant! I have seven now. Since they are $8.95 each at Bluestone, I am pretty happy.

(Zone 4b)

"Fragrant"?? Wow!

Donna, I still highly recommend "Paris". The foliage is nothing to write home about but its flowers are superb ie red and long lasting.

http://www.terranovanurseries.com/cart/product_info.php?products_id=150

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

That really is beautiful. It's funny. Remember how these plants were first marketed? For the foliage only. How things change.

(Zone 4b)

Quote from speediebean :
Brunnera, (gorgeous blue blooms),
Those are lovely too, as are Columbines.... all of these ideas are hardy in your zone, by the way. :)
[/quote]
Excellent reminders.

I have both "Brunnera" (Jack Frost and Kings Ransom...JF is way better than KR in my opinion). It is with this plant that I started to understand the value of foliage.

In the summer of 2011 I planted 5 "Brunnera" forgetting that I had put them in locations that are covered with "Forget Me Not" flowers in the spring. So of course you can imagine that these "Brunnera" basically bloom for nothing each spring as the flowers are identical to FMN....embarrassing!

I have included below a picture of my favourite columbine that I snapped late last May. I think it is called 'Origami Blue & White'. It is in a very shady location just on the other side of the fence behind that new corner garden.

Another wonderful shade plant I have...again located not far from this new garden is a the Tiarella 'Sugar and Spice'. Here is a picture of one of mine from this past spring.
[quote="speediebean"]May I just say, thank you for letting us all chime in with our ideas for your plan.

"speediebean" I don't even know you and yet from the above comment I am just betting you are a wonderful person.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh, Rogue, you are very perceptive. I have had the great good fortune of corresponding with Speedie on numerous threads and it is just a joy. Infectious enthusiasm, and tremendous sweetness!

(Zone 4b)

Donna, thanks for the confirmation. After all your help this past summer with my inquiries re "Balloon" flowers it does seem quite clear that DG does attract some very fine people ;).

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Aaawww geee willikers guys, you're making me blush! Thank you, but it takes one to know one! < =P heeheeheee
(straighten up those halos Ladies!) =)

Rouge, Oooooooh, you shoulda heard me when I enlarged the pics of your Columbine and Tiarella, LOL!!! LOUD groans of appreciation, along with "Ooooh's" and "Aaaaaah's" and "Ooooh I LOOOVE these!!!" Haahahaahaaa I suddenly stopped 'cause I realized I was talking out loud to myself. =) Oh me oh my, now I really can't wait to see that corner bed start to shape up!!
Hmmmmm... Forget Me Nots, don't they tend to be a bit of a lighter blue? I wonder how some Plumbago would look mixed in there? Mine are done blooming now, but they're getting some really pretty reddish foliage on them at the moment ... that deeper blue might be a nice combo with FMN's, no? Or do I need to put the crack pipe down now? ;)

Oooh! Just remembered something... remember that area I was talking about on the side of my porch that gets NO sun ever? Well, near and around there, where the Petunias are (they grow out beyond the reaches of the porch and get LOTS of sunlight)... back around behind the Petunias and around the Mums, I was at a loss this past Spring as to what to use to fill in the bare spots... and I'd had about enough Petunias and Million bells, so I got a couple packets of Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) "Carpet of Snow", sprinkled them liberally all around on the soil around there, watered 'em in and prayed for the best. WOW they came up THICK, even in the totally shade area. It's been rather nice stepping out the front door and wondering "What's that sweet smell?" only to remember it's the Alyssum. =) So, if you get tired of blues, that's another idea to consider, for a bit of white here and there to give a little brightening to your corner. Maybe just a tiny patch or 2?

I must agree with you Ladies, Daves Garden is really full of THE most wonderful people I have ever met in my life, and I am thankful to God every single day for this little taste of Heaven right here on earth.

(Zone 4b)

Quote from speediebean :
when I enlarged the pics of your Columbine and Tiarella, LOL!!! LOUD groans of appreciation, along with "Ooooh's" and "Aaaaaah's" and "Ooooh I LOOOVE these!!!" Oh me oh my, now I really can't wait to see that corner bed start to shape up!! [/quote]

I don't like to toot my own horn but I so agree with you "speediebean" ;) i.e. these two plants are outstanding and do just fine in pretty heavy shade . And I would have no problem using them in this new bed except I have these same plants in the backyard within viewing distance of this new garden. So it is like the older gardens have 'dibbs' on them...do you know what I mean? I am way too often guilty of using the same plant in different gardens on my property because I get them 'on my brain' for at least one season. I always need to make the concious effort to expand my plant horizons!


Quote from speediebean :
Forget Me Nots, don't they tend to be a bit of a lighter blue?


Maybe so but it is too close to call and if you saw my backyard garden in the spring it is a mass of FMN and all these flowers drown out any slight differences in the flowers of the 'Brunnera'. But I don't really mind as I do like the foliage of JF.


[quote="speediebean"]Oooh! Just remembered something... remember that area I was talking about on the side of my porch that gets NO sun ever?

so I got a couple packets of Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) "Carpet of Snow", sprinkled them liberally all around on the soil around there, watered 'em in and prayed for the best. WOW they came up THICK, even in the totally shade area. It's been rather nice stepping out the front door and wondering "What's that sweet smell?" only to remember it's the Alyssum. =)


So lucky you ie sun plants thriving in shade! There must be some fairy/elf magic at work.

I love "alyssum". It is basically the only plant still with viable flowers in my zone 5 climate even after several frosts. Although it is an annual, the patch I have reliably self-seeds each year and comes back just fine every spring. Can I assume that alyssum in your zone 7 is a perennial?


This message was edited Nov 13, 2012 12:30 PM

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