Seeking suggestion(s)


I went looking through the beds this morning assessing what I lost over this severe weather, and where holes were likely to be (season and space wise).
I have one bed that faces south, but shaded by buildings on the north and west side, and shaded by a large chinese dogwood overhead now. Early in spring, before the dogwood leaves out, it's nearly full sun, but it only gets 2-3 hours of morning sun in summer. I've found that rudbeckias and liatris don't thrive in the bed (in fact they struggle somewhat). I didn't realize the dogwood provided so much shade last spring when I planted.
Due to other plantings, the bed tends towards toward avg to slightly above average moisture. I plan on putting a mimulus ringens and a lobelia sylphitica in this year.
I need something to provide color and/or carry the bed along the center. I have no qualms about color, height if more than 5 inches and not more than 4 feet, but need presence for shade in both early summer and midsummer, fall is a bonus, but not required. Lots of bulbs, so the spring season is covered, also a clematis trying to engulf the bed somewhat.
Soil is a clay loam with a top dressing of decaying leaves, which probably means slightly acid ph.
Ideas? I'd sure appreciate it...I've browsed a few native catalogues and drawn a blank.

Comments (4)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Vicissitudezz(Zone 8b, SC)

What kind of plants are you looking for? Wildflowers, shrubs, vines? What time of year are you looking to have blooms, if you do want blooms, and not mostly foliage?

If I lived in Arkansas, I'd love to plant an Arkansas Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), but it might not be to your taste, or not what you're looking for in general. Another small shrub is New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus).

American Alumnroot (Heuchera americana) might be good to try, but it might need more shade? Some people grow yarrow in part-shade... actually plants can't read their descriptions so don't always know what they're "supposed" to like... Silene regia attracts hummingbirds/butterflies... Blue mistflower is fall-blooming here.

Columbines, leadplant, viburnum, penstemon, phlox, monarda (might be too spread-y for you?), verbena, baptisia?

I love the lobelias- if they do well for you, that might be your cue to think "native woodland" plants for that area.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barron, I'm growing new plants of Turk's Cap because they are a good long blooming native for shade. They don't care if its deep shade & will also grow in full sun.

Check out the Native American Seed, they have a good list of shade loving native plants which I got ideas from.

I bought a Turk's Cap plant last spring & made 4 new plants from it, they root very easily. I saved a lot of seed & planted these too because I am working on a long property line area that is sunny in spring, winter but shady in summer, anywhere from no sun to various #hours. Almost Eden carries plants online & Bustani's has them at their nursery in Stillwater OK. Its root hardy in zone 6.

Here is what has also worked well for me so far in a similar situation to the one you describe.

Lanceleaf coreopsis. Early season sun but by the time they finish blooming, its shady, forms a thick ground cover.

Artemisia ludoviciana. It is surprisingly good in only 3 to 4 hours of sun. I had so much plant material, I went ahead tried it against common sense. It makes a good contrast filler. I ended up filling a large area with this.

Salvia greggi (the common wild type). does very well with only 4 hours morning sun & I have about 3 plants that get even less that still do surprisingly well. The plants bloom and have a good form & since they are so easy to root I experiment with them cuz their free.

Salvia coccinea
Mealycup sage
Stachy's coccinea (Texas Betony/Scarlet Hedgenettle)
Purple winecups

Here is a photo of Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii)

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 16:00

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I grow Turks Cap on the sunnier (don't laugh) north side of the porch. I had a greggii that I had for 4-5 years in Oklahoma that I placed in the bed I'm trying to fill, it didn't make it through the winter and wasn't particularly happy there (too shady and a bit too wet).
If my salvia coccinea reseeded well and I find some seedlings from the north side, I'll try a couple over on the south side. I do feel it's awfully shady though for them to do well.
This winter left me uncertain on my Turks Cap and lantana horrida that I had on the north side. It's a couple of weeks too early to be sure though.

This post was edited by dbarron on Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 20:52

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lily of the Valley thrives in my parents clay soil and supposedly does well in shade.

Wintergreen, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wild ginger?

Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Upholstery Seeking a Quiet, Relaxed Spot? Try Upholstering Your Walls
Upholstery can envelop an entire room, a framed panel or a single wall. See some design options and learn what to expect
Full Story
Green Building Efficient Architecture Suggests a New Future for Design
Homes that pay attention to efficient construction, square footage and finishes are paving the way for fresh aesthetic potential
Full Story
The Art of Architecture What Is Organic Architecture, Anyway?
Practitioners of organic architecture seek to connect houses more closely with their natural surroundings. Here's how they do it
Full Story