User avatar
LittleBee
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:12 pm
Location: Indiana

What to put in small shady space?

I have this area between my garage and my fence that needs cleared out. Is there anything that would thrive back there (besides the weeds which are doing a nice job) where it is mostly shady and a pretty tight squeeze?

[img]https://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc12/LittleBee08/Garden/CRW_8904.jpg[/img]
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

https://bumblebeesandbutterflies.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

There are many plants that will grow in shade. Does the area get any sun at all? If so, is it in the morning, noon, or afternoon, and for how long? What is the soil like in that spot? What is the drainage like? What are the dimensions of the area? Whatever you put there, you have to be able to move around it to provide care, such as pruning. (You'll also need to be able to get in to paint that garage wall and repair the fence when they need it.)

User avatar
LittleBee
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:12 pm
Location: Indiana

I don't really know if it gets any sun at all. It runs from east to west... the drainage is pretty decent there I guess. I'd say it's probably a 2-3 foot width and however long the garage is.
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

https://bumblebeesandbutterflies.blogspot.com/

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

shade plant

If it runs east to west, that seems to mean that it faces north, with the garage behind it, so very little sun. There are lots of wonderful shade plants. Kisal is right, you will need to keep them pretty small and low to be able to get to things. Here's some thoughts:
*bugle weed (aka carpet bugle) is a very low ground cover, it has small not very showy flower spikes in late spring, but comes in a variety of gorgeous rich foliage colors, chocolate, bronze, bluish etc. ( In shade you want to think about foliage more than flowers for your color. )
*Wild ginger is also a low ground cover, a lot plainer, but it's a native and spreads very nicely without being invasive, gives a rich look.
*Other ground covers include lamium, pulmonaria, caladium all with lots of variegated foliage. The lamium and pulmonaria are mostly white variegations, but white shows up very nicely in shade. Pulmonaria is native. The caladium comes in all kinds of fancy colors, reds, pinks, whites, but it is tender and has to be dug up every fall.
*The classic shade plants are hostas, which come in blue-greens, yellow greens, and lots of variegations and a wide variety of sizes and are often fragrant.
*If you can keep it moist enough you could put ferns in with the hostas. Lady fern is a very pretty native.
*Heuchera is another plant usually grown for foliage colors, bronze, purple, gold, striped. Some of them also have pretty showy flowers.Tiarella is a similar but smaller native plant bred for gorgeous foliage, but also in spring has pretty pink flower spikes (they've actually been hybridized into heucherella.)
*For flowers there's bleeding heart, epimedium, columbine.
* One of my favorite shade plants, that I think is not used nearly enough in gardens is solomon seal. It grows slender stalks that arch over beautifully. The native one is a spring ephemeral that disappears pretty quickly. There's a hybrid version with white variegated leaves that lasts much longer in the garden and spreads quickly into colonies.
Look these up to find pictures...

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Wonderful suggestions! I'm going to use some of them myself, because I'm removing a lot of Scilla from the north side of my house this year, and want something nicer there. The Scilla has just about taken over my entire yard! Amazingly invasive! :shock:

User avatar
LittleBee
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:12 pm
Location: Indiana

Thank you for all the suggestions! I will look some of these up and let you know what I come up with.
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

https://bumblebeesandbutterflies.blogspot.com/

Return to “Flower Gardening & Garden Design”