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What can be planted in an urban shade garden?

10 years ago

Posted by Jackie Fox: I have a townhouse with a back yard
that is shaded by taller homes and a large oak tree. During
the summer months the small yard receives very little direct
sun. I live in northern New Jersey.

Kirk Johnson: Aren't Summers in your area hot? A splashing
fountain would make it even more inviting. Ferns and foliage
plants would make it seem cool and peaceful.

Lisa Kuhlen: Sounds like my garden. Be prepared for very
little in the way of blooming things. I have lots of lovely
greens, but few blossoms. Here's our plant list: In the
sunniest areas, echinacea, valerian, some herbs (like
chives), self-heal (nice plant, but DON'T let it go to
seed). Astilbe, great lobelia, variegated hostas. In the
deeper shade, bleeding heart, golden wood poppy, green
hostas, sweet woodruff, sweet violets, english ivy, ferns
(cinnamon, shaggy shield, christmas, leatherwood).

kathie hayden: I have full shade and I keep trying
everything but what always works best is the hostas,coleus,
begonias, IMPATIENS (its nice that something with bright
colors works!) Astilbe works too.

barbara: There's a nice book put out by Brooklyn Botanic
Garden Record, "Gardening in the Shade". It contains lists
of shrubs, vines, annuals, perennials, bulbs, moss, ground
covers, etc.

d. scott: I recommend "The Natural Shade Garden" by Ken
Druse. He includes several landscaping designs for shade
gardens including the one behind his N.Y.C.townhome.

ruth anne: Check out 'Fine Gardening Magazine's' book
called "Garden Rooms". also "Garden Design Ideas" and "Great
Gardens". They have designs such as you describe that are to
die for!! I think a spot such as yours would have so much
potential as the oft desired "secret garden"!!

Shade Garden under High Deck

Posted by Mary Ellen Mulhern - 6: I live in Southeastern
Pennsylvania and have a high deck off the first floor. Weeds
grow under the deck so I assume plants would grow as well.
It is definitely a shady area and the soil seems dry. In the
fall I planted hosta around the outside perimeter. What
types of plants can I grow under this deck, which is fairly
large? What about ferns?

Bill Hoppe (DC area Z7): If the bottom of the "header" and
the joists that hold up the decking planks is at least 8
feet above the elevation of the space under the deck, and if
that space is directly accessible from the basement via a
regular door or a sliding glass door assembly, why not use
the space for more practical purposes? I would hate to see
it go to waste. You could pave part of it, surround that
with plantings that tie in with the rest of your garden, and
leave a 4' wide opening for a walk/path that leads out to
the garden and, voila, you have a nice seating area!
Dressing up the posts that hold up the deck with some
lattice work against which you can grow all kinds of vines
(like clematis), would add a nice touch.

Sue Vanderhoff - 5: I also have a high deck. I have used
lattice on the 3 sides. One piece is hinged so I can get to
it. I have black plastic sheeting under it and I use it for
storage,(wheelbarrow, leftover straw mulch etc.) In the
summer morning glories grow on the 3 sides. Mine faces west
with sides north south. I have a lilac bush on the south
side, flowers on the west side and the stairway north.

Gail Trimble Z7/Ga: We have a high deck also, but our plans
are to put a jacuzzi underneath. Currently it has pinestraw
on the ground and stores the oversize patio chairs that
don't fit ON the deck!


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