Blacksheep
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Small garden, shade?

Hi, I have a small garden behind our townhouse that I'd like to replant with native bird-friendly plants. It runs along our back fenceline with a curved brick edge at the front. At it's widest point it's about 4ft and it runs along the entire back fence for a total length of about 12 ft so I don't have a lot of room to work with. Above it are shade trees - a mulberry, a spruce and a maple tree, so at best the garden gets a couple of hours of sun in the morning but that's about it. I'm also a new gardener (obviously). Are there any particular native plants that you would suggest for an inexperienced gardener with a small space such as mine?

imafan26
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Re: Small garden, shade?

You are talking about a shade garden. You would need shade tolerant plants. The things you can add for the birds would be a bird bath for water and a winter feeder.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Blacksheep
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Re: Small garden, shade?

Thanks for the fast response! We do have a bird bath and winter feeders already. I was hoping for some specific suggestions for what plants I could put into the little garden that would also be bird friendly.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Small garden, shade?

Columbine is a lovely native shade wildflower that is attractive to hummingbirds , bees and butterflies and finches eat the seeds . There are lots of hybrid varieties of it , bred for showìer flowers , but you can still get the native species at native plant nurseries .

Bunchberry is a ground cover variety of dogwood , with the same beautiful dogwood flowers . Many birds including cedar wax wings and mockingbirds like the berries . It has to have acidity soil.

Ginseng is another ground cover . It used to be common in the wild , but is now rare due to over harvesting , as ithe roots are reputed to have lots of healing properties . It is also attractive to birds .

Cardinal flower is one of the few bright red flowers to grow in shade and as such is attractive to hummingbirds .

Serviceberry is a shrub that comes in varieties from a small tree to pretty dwarf . 40 species of birds like those berries . Viburnum is another shrub in a variety of sizes and with berries birds like . It also has exceptionally fragrant flowers in spring .

This is just a few of many choices . You should find a good native plant nursery . They can give you better suggestions as to what does best in your area and what is available .
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Blacksheep
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Location: Toronto

Re: Small garden, shade?

Thank you rainbowgardener! I very much appreciate the pointers. I did find a local nursery with native plants today, so that's a step in the right direction. They recommended a lot of the same plants you did (and have in stock for most items). I also found a book called "Gardening for the Birds" by George Adams which seems to have a lot of good information in it. This afternoon my husband and I pulled all of the remnant plants out of the garden and tilled the soil so that it will be ready for new plants. Our next step is to figure out what plants to buy :)

LIcenter
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Location: Long Island, NY Zone 7a/6b-ish

Re: Small garden, shade?

Honeysuckle will also do quite well if it's not too shady. One of mine gets about three hours of sun, and is doing just fine. The humming birds just love it. That 4 ft wide edge would be a perfect place for a mop head hydrangea. And ferns! Don't forget the ferns. Many different varieties and textures.

imafan26
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Re: Small garden, shade?

This is a link to Pollinator.org. There are a couple of guides for Canada. It suggests flowers for all kinds of different pollinators not just birds.

https://www.pollinator.org/PDFs/Guides/L ... .hires.pdf
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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