taterdiditoo
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:55 am
Location: Findlay, Ohio

Ideas for difficult area

Hi, I'm new to this forum, and am in need of some advise. I have an area of garden that I am having difficultly matching plants to and when I try, I have very little success. This area is on the south-facing wall of my house and appears to get about 6 hours of mid-day sun, with full shade the rest of the time. It is about 3 foot wide and runs the length of my house at 24 feet long. We went the cheap route when walling off this section and bought poor topsoil, so I know I need to improve my soil quality. I have tried a few full sun plants there and they didn't do well. I'd like minimal maintenance (weeding, some pruning, etc.) and to find a way to fill in the area in an inexpensive manner. I had considered 2 or 3 hydrangea bushes in the area and then filling in with ground cover, but every hydrangea I look at says to protect from mid-day sun.
So I'm not really sure where to go with this plot of land. Currently it grows weeds very well, but I'm sure my neighbor is less than enthused about that. Should I aim for full sun plants? What about ground cover? I'm a novice gardener and have been s-l-o-w-l-y trying to build my shade gardens (at only 4 to 5 new plants each year) and would like this project finished so I can focus on my shade gardens again.
Any help that anyone can offer is greatly appreciated!!! Oh, and I'm in zone 5b if that helps.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

A south facing wall is full sun, especially if it gets solid 6 hours.
Hydrangeas would never make it there. If you were thinking Hydrangeas, how tall were you thinking? Did you want shrubs? ...I ask because 3ft doesn't seem enough room.

Sticking with minimum care, some perennials I could suggest are German/ Bearded Irises, Daylilies, Sedum, Lavender, Stachys(Lambs Ears), Russian Sage and other sages, Yarrow, Golden Rods, False Sunflower, Echinacea, or ornamental grasses. Yucca would work there too. A variegated form might be nice, and Baptista (False Indigo).

taterdiditoo
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:55 am
Location: Findlay, Ohio

Thank you for your fast response! I will avoid hydrangeas in that area and found a lot of what you had listed at Lowes (on sale too!). The plants you listed are ones that I would have never looked twice at, but that should do very well in this area.
Regarding hydrangeas though, will they do well in a full shade area? I have a space that I started working on this year that is full shade once summer comes and is very moist. It's a large area to fill, so I thought a hydrangea would help with that, but I guess I didn't realize they came in different sizes.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Oh! that was quick!

Most of these prefer well drained soil so amend your soil if necessary. Humus, Compost, sand and paving gravel are good if the native soil is mostly clay.

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Applestar's suggestions are good. For that much length, I would want to put in a few small shrubs to break up the look of a bunch of plant stalks.

Crimson pygmy barberry is a popular choice gives you some constant color and nice round shape.

Boxwood is an evergreen that comes in a dwarf version would stay the size you need

Dwarf burning bush for brilliant fall color

Gold mound spirea for golden yellow foliage color

Low growing junipers for another small evergreen

Dwarf viburnum (eg Blue Muffin) for fragrant spring flowers and berries that birds like and fall color. Maybe still just a tiny bit big for your three foot space, once mature, but could be trimmed. Viburnum opulus 'Nanum' might be harder to find but stays under 3 feet.

(AS ... you knew I had to get that viburnum in there! )

Pick one or two and then repeat them a few times along your length, interspersed with Applestar's flowers.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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