Friday, June 18, 2010

Shade Garden Faithfuls

Our back yard is very shady with lots of clay. It is really tough to convince things to grow back there. Here are some things that have worked well.

Dianthus is a delicate flower that comes in shades of pink from white to red. It is often labelled an annual, but it is really a perennial. I like to have things that I don't have to replant every year.
These flowers are considered edible, although honestly, I have never eaten any. The girls do like them to wear in their hair. They are pretty. Mine have had a hard life recently as Dallas likes to run through and dig where they grow.

Cedum is another plant that does fine in the shade. They have a broad group of lilac or pink flowers that bloom in later summer. They are also perennials.

Hostas are the shade gardeners best friend. You can't kill them. If you go to a nursery they are expensive. There are over a hundred varieties. The leaves have different shades of green, white and yellow. Some on the inside and some on the outside. Don't buy them though. Find a friend that has one you like and just split off a piece of the plant and root. It will start and grow splendidly.

In July or August, depending on your location, the hostas send up a spike which blossoms with purple flowers. Each year the plant gets larger.

Hostas are great perennials. You can't hurt them. The basic green leaf variety spreads almost like a weed. If you want some of the basic green ones. Let me know. If you are nearby I will happily share mine with you.

What have you found that does well in shade and clay?
"My garden will never make me famous
I'm a horticultural ignoramus.
Ogden Nash

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