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I had a small area with a small flowering tree and decided under that tree I could make a pretty little shade garden. It is fading this time of year, but will get a redo in spring!
If part of your yard is subject to shade, instead of trying to modify it, why not raise an attractive, diverse garden of shade loving plants? Shade gardens offer gardeners a lot of unique opportunities. The plants often have bolder and more colorful foliage than sun plants. And because shade gardens are not as prone to weeds or droughts as sun gardens, they tend to require less maintenance.
Lighten up with color: To lighten up deep shade, use plants with variegated leaves or bright blooms. For foliage, try coleus, pulmonaria, Jacobs ladder, coral bells, ivy, hosta, or Solomons seal. For flowers, grow forget-me-nots, astilbe, impatiens, monkshood, columbine, or bleeding hearts.
Make green work for you: The main color you will work with in the shade garden is green. The good news is that there literally thousands of shades to choose from. Mixing bright greens with dark greens and mid-tone greens creates a sense of harmony. The light silver-green foliage of Jack Frost Brunerra or the green and white variegated foliage of Solomons seal work to brighten dim corners and make small spaces seem larger.
Compensate for competition: Soil fertility can be a source of trouble in the shade garden because the feeder roots from trees and shrubs tend to hog most of the water and nutrients. If your shade plants are located near trees, you will need to give them extra fertilizer and waterespecially during droughts.
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I have an area in front of my house that could use some planting. It's under the eaves and shaded by trees, one being a pine. So I need something that would tolerate dry, acidic, shade. I live in zone 4b. Any suggestions?
Have you checked with your local Agriculture extension office? They usually have great ideas.
Try shade hostas. There are about 350 different kinds. You have a wide variety to choose from. Hostas will grow just about anywhere. A little watering occasionally especially when first planted will help to keep them lush.
Try ferns they thrive in the shade.
I don't know how the hostas would be under the pine in acidic soil. Check that out with your local plant nursery. They do like moist conditions, so unless you watered them they will grow but just grow very slowly.
Have you tried bergenia? It has a thick stem and large leaves with pink flowers stalk in the spring. Bergenia will grow in shade and sun, anywhere. It will fill the area quite nicely and if you need to get rid of it for some reason it is easy to pull out and doesn't have any little runners like goutweed or ferns do. I have been told that it doesn't mind the acidic soil, so that would be something to check at your local plant nursery.
Goutweed will also be an option for you but I don't like it because it is so invasive.
Ferns usually like moist areas, but my grandma did have them growing under an overhang on the north side of her house. They will also fill an area in quite nicely.
Pachysandra is a nice ground cover for shade.
What grows best in the shade? We have a raised box 15 x 4 next to the house. It is almost completely shaded by our carport. We are looking for things that will grow there. I don't think this area gets more than a couple hours of sun, if that, so it can't even be considered partial shade. Will anything: plants, flowers, vegetables, etc. grow here? Thanks for any help!
Hardiness Zone: 5b
By Angela from Wickliffe, OH
You can't go wrong with hosta, but look beyond the basic green ones. There are varigated ones that add such a nice look, and can brighten up a shady spot. Also try huchera and ferns. Things may take longer to grow, but when cared for well, they will grow. Heres more:
There are many ground covers that probably would do well in the shade, pachysandra comes to mind right off.