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East Side of House

River Vale, NJ

My parents are looking to have some color along the east side wall of their house (zone 6 but close to 7). The area gets morning sun but is fully shaded by mid-day (as early as late morning in spring and fall). Normally their area has a lot of clay, but it so happens this plot has great soil due to many years of decomposing leaves and mulch.

My parents need plants that are relatively low-care, since they're novice gardeners. They don't mind watering, staking, etc. But lots of pruning, deadheading, etc would be a bit much.

I was thinking an assortment of lilies would look nice and give several weeks of color. Could they handle that amount of sun?

Any other ideas?


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Lilies were my first thought as well!

Depending on the amount of sun I'd suggest dahlias as well. Just a few could make a huge difference and keep the flowers coming until frost.

Hydrangeas would be another consideration.

Here's one of hydrangeas and lilies. There are also hostas and ferns along with Siberian irises and true perennial geraniums there.

Thumbnail by pirl
River Vale, NJ

Wow, that looks beautiful! I had thought about hydrangeas but hadn't quite decided.

I'd been thinking about dahlias for the front (south side) of their yard. Only problem is I don't know if they'd dig them up to store over the winter. But I just love dahlias (and my own yard is far to shady for them).

They have some way-too-crowded hostas in the yard. I could probably dig and divide, so that's a great idea.


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Just buy a few bags from Home Depot or Wal Mart and don't fret about having your parents dig them up in fall. They may want more sun that is available in that spot.

Hydrangeas come in all sizes so check the eventual size first. If you select one that blooms on new wood then size wouldn't be a problem since they could be cut back and still flower.

Dividing hostas while they are in the ground, using a sharp knife or a saw, if needed, and cutting out wedges (like a pie) is the easiest way for me to divide large old clumps and doing it as soon as they emerge in spring would be ideal. Try not to wait until the leaves have unfurled - that makes it much more difficult. Use compost when replanting and for the vacancies you've created with the pie wedges to provide some nutrition.

Astilbe is another huge family of plants that enjoy the shade and look lovely.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

The east side of my house is llies,hosta,percificaria,toad lily.

Seaford, NY(Zone 7a)

Azalea and spiderwort do well facing east

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