General Discussion:

Help for shade in 5a


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Lisa20-Jun-03 12:29 AM EST 5a   
Susan20-Jun-03 09:41 AM EST 6a   
Lisa20-Jun-03 11:10 PM EST 5a   
Shelley21-Jun-03 01:28 PM EST 6b   
Shelley21-Jun-03 01:30 PM EST 6b   
Susan21-Jun-03 01:46 PM EST 6a   
Shelley21-Jun-03 02:42 PM EST   


Subject: Help for shade in 5a
From: Lisa
Zone: 5a
Date: 20-Jun-03 12:29 AM EST

I have a number of spruce and maple trees that create a shaded area in the back of my yard where the grass is very sparce. I'm looking for suggestions as to what I can put in this area to liven it up. I was thinking of spreading wildflower seeds, I've seen a mix for shade. Has anyone tried this?


Subject: RE: Help for shade in 5a
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 20-Jun-03 09:41 AM EST

I would be very leery about using those wildflower mixes. I gather they use a lot of annual type flowers in some of them and they're often things that seed themselves and become a nuisance in subsequent years. You'd be better off planting some nice perennials. Under maples and spruce are difficult conditions because of dryness and root competition and acid soil under the spruce. Laying down soaker hoses before planting will make watering easier. For some suggestions for planting, look at:

http://www.silkpursefarm.on.ca/GARDEN_ADVICE/under_maples.htm

I woul avoid a couple of things on that list - particularly pachysandra which is a pesty underground spreader. Beacon Silver Lamium would be my first choice. It has beautiful silver leaves and pink flowers (but you really grow it for the leaves...) It's a fast spreader but shallow rooted and easy to remove if you need to, it's very drought and shade tolerant and is great for lighting up dark spaces.


Subject: RE: Help for shade in 5a
From: Lisa
Zone: 5a
Date: 20-Jun-03 11:10 PM EST

Thanks, that was a big help and I will be looking for that lamium!


Subject: RE: Help for shade in 5a
From: Shelley
Zone: 6b
Date: 21-Jun-03 01:28 PM EST

Be VERY CAREFUL with planting that lamium!!!

We live on acreage in the lower mainland near Vancouver and several years ago, our neighbour dumped out some old hanging baskets containing lamium in the bush (in the shade) at the edge of his property. It has now taken over the undergrowth of the forest between our properties covering at least half an acre, choking out all the native plants except for the salmon berries and blackberrie vines which are increasing without competition. It continues to spread at an alarming rate. We have made strong efforts to pull it out (we will not use poisons under the trees, etc.), but it is A NOCTIOUS WEED!! It reminds me somewhat of the terrible problems with purple loosestrife unleashed into the wild.

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND LAMIUM TO ANYONE!!!


Subject: RE: Help for shade in 5a
From: Shelley
Zone: 6b
Date: 21-Jun-03 01:30 PM EST

I do have a suggestion for your shade - oregano.

Oregano will grow ANYWHERE, sun or shade!! It even spread through our dogrun - the dogs smelled great! (I've often wondered if it detered fleas too!)


Subject: RE: Help for shade in 5a
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 21-Jun-03 01:46 PM EST

Shelley - there are two different things that get called lamium - Lamium maculatum (which includes Beacon Silver) and Lamiastrum galeobdolon or False Lamium. The Lamiastrums tend to be the invasive ones, although 'Herman's Pride' is well behaved. They have yellow flowers whereas the true lamiums have pink or white flowers. I'd be very surprised if what is taking over is a Lamium but would not be surprised to see a Lamiastrum do that. It is quite safe to plant Beacon Silver in your garden and it is a very beautiful plant. As I said in the first post, if it does get a little too big, it is very easy to remove any excess.


Subject: RE: Help for shade in 5a
From: Shelley
Zone:
Date: 21-Jun-03 02:42 PM EST

Hi Susan,

You are right - the nasty weed taking over on our property is Lamium galeobdolon - I have no idea if it is a specific cultivar, but it does have yellow flowers. A photo of it can be seen here:

http://plantsdatabase.com/showpicture/15882/


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