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Beginner Gardening: Problem area - looking for ideas

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 7, Views: 90
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Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

August 30, 2008
4:06 PM

Post #5487004

I have a problem space in my garden. It's on the west side of a Linden tree and between the tree and my paved driveway. It gets little sun because of the tree and it's very dry. If I water it well, things grow there, but since the garden has been expanded more to the east of the tree, the concentration of watering goes there and especially if I leave the garden in the care of a neighbour which has happened a lot this year, this spot gets overlooked.

I'm looking for ideas of things that will grow there. I have some Doronicum growing there which does well before the tree leafs out, but the foliage looks ratty and slug-eaten the rest of the year.

I'm wondering about succulents, or ground cover but which ones will do well w/o much sun?

Thanks for any ideas you might have.



Nilwood, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2008
4:23 PM

Post #5487043

What about Creeping Jenny?? That is what I am going to put in front of these 2 beds that I am redoing. Here is the first one on the left of my front porch almost done then I will start on the right side. I am putting it arround the outside edge where the grass will not grow. BEV

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Rosemont, ON
(Zone 4a)

August 30, 2008
5:28 PM

Post #5487302

Hmmm, dry shade. I'd try Lamium 'White Nancy' (variegated leaves and white flowers) and Pachysandra procumbens (native plant). If you like yellow flowers, try Waldsteinia ternata (glossy, strawberry-like leaves). Drought- and shade-tolerant hardy geraniums might work too, such as G. phaeum and G. macrorrhizum. If you get reliable snow cover, try Cyclamen hederifolium (mine are flowering now, under a bush, in dust-like soil).
(Judi)Portland, OR

August 31, 2008
5:37 PM

Post #5490866

Any suggestions about what to plant on the strip between the sidewalk and the street? There are two crabapple trees and some ratty grass. I would like to put something in that would not require removal of the grass but would eventually cover it. Something about 3 - 4 feet tall. Evergreen would be best. I live in Portland, Oregon, so whatever it is is must like rain!


Northeast, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 1, 2008
9:15 PM

Post #5495309

Viola Ann: good suggestions already. I'd suggest sedums, semps, geraniums, epimediums. The
latter is especially good in dry shade. It grows where nothing else will grow.

Portland1 - you really should take the grass out first. Anything that will take over grass is too invasive.


Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #5496035

Thanks for suggestions. I have a variety of Sedums already and they multiply well. Think I'll try them first. LOVE yellow flowers; so I may try the Waldsteinia ternata. Does it get invasive? I have quite a large Hosta collection not too far away and don't want to get into anything too invasive. Have had bad experiences with Creeping Jenny in the past. Been pulling it out for years and still find some of it from time to time. Never thought about shade-tolerant hardy geraniums. Will look into that as well.

We DO usually get reliable snow cover, but it may also be subject to salt if we get much ice as the driveway is slanted and sometimes salt is a necessity in the winter.

How easy to control is the Lamium 'White Nancy'? It's another I would consider trying.

Rosemont, ON
(Zone 4a)

September 2, 2008
1:49 PM

Post #5497957

Hi Ann! Both Waldsteinia and Lamium 'White Nancy' are mat-forming, so they do spread a bit, but I've never had any problem controlling them. I don't think they would swamp a regular-sized hosta, but if you are growing minis, you would probably need to keep them separate. You might be able to find an alternative to salt for your driveway, as there are some plant-friendly ice-melting chemicals (I don't know the names of them, perhaps someone else does?).

Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

September 2, 2008
4:17 PM

Post #5498535

ViolaAnn I have lamium, polmonaria, ajuga, oxalis (dragon's blood and purpurpea) and monskhood in my dry bed and they do well. I just but in some solomon's seal in there this year too as its supposed to do dry shade well.

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