Best Shade Shrubs/Perennials to mix with old Rhodos & Heathers?

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by artnerd, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. BethSnohomish

    BethSnohomish Member

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    Vinca is not my favorite. I've fought with it before, and the writer of the article is right - if you have amended soil, or you fertilize at all, you will create a dense root structure that does not allow anything else to thrive in any way. I'll pass on Vinca. I'll also pass on crown vetch. :-) I'll similarly pass on Mexican Primrose (if that grows here), yarrow, and solidago. Some things are just better left unplanted, you know?

    I have to say that I thought, when I dug up the ivy, that the root structure was pretty shallow and loose. Hm. Maybe it was just because the ground was wet..........
     
  2. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you for not planting Ivy. I know Vinca is very vigorous and should only be used as a ground cover under large shrubs and trees but it's better than Ivy. Another one I implore people not to plant is Herman's Pride False Lamium, Lamiastrum galeobdolon 'Herman's Pride'. It is spreading in the native woods around here very fast and spreads by seed. At least Vinca doesn't spread by seeds.
     
  3. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Beth, for some good ideas, plan on a trip to the N.W. Flower and Garden Show in Seattle (Feb. 8 - 12 at the convention center, info available online) it's like a breath of spring in the dead of winter. Also, my favorite pub is within walking distance! A ton of good seminars, demonstration gardens, and great vendors. Catch the shuttle at Northgate park & ride.
     
  4. BethSnohomish

    BethSnohomish Member

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    Thanks so much for the heads up on the garden show. Hey, that reminds me, when do the tulip displays come on in the spring? And when is the best time in the spring to visit Buchart Gardens?
     
  5. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Skagit Valley Tulip Festival http://www.tulipfestival.org/, Generally the month of April, depending on conditions - take Conway exit (221), avoid weekends if possible. Recommended stops:Conway Pub, for burgers; Skagit Barn, for salmon chowder; Pasek Cellars, for wine tasting; and, especially, The Snowgoose, for outrageous ice cream cones.

    Butchart Gardens is pretty fantastic any time - here's a photo I took in 1979 - I used to tell people this was my back yard. If you go to Victoria in the fall, you can collect oak acorns, and smuggle them across the border - I hope the statute of limitations has run out on this.


    Butchart Gardens 2.jpg
     
  6. BethSnohomish

    BethSnohomish Member

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    You are a wealth of info, Gordo. And pretty darn quick with the humor too. LOL. So lets see a real picture of your backyard? Mine is going to be full of flowers. :-)
     
  7. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I fear mine will be full of weeds, if I don't get off my a**. Here's a pic of my first attempt at a spring garden. The Rhody's are 'Ginny Gee', the bare tree in the foreground is Cornus x 'Eddies White Wonder' (you really should search this one out - try Flower World).


    Spring garden sm.jpg
     
  8. NanceInWA

    NanceInWA Member

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    Hi all,

    I just found out that coffee grounds (free at your local Starbuck's and other coffee shops) are great for keeping slugs out of your garden. Add a 1 inch layer around the plant(s) with the slug problems and mix thoroughly into the soil (i.e., don't just use it as mulch). I always thought cofee grounds were acidic, but in fact they are neutral and can be used for most all of your garden.

    Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there!
    Nance
     
  9. jogardener

    jogardener Member

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    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    I have had great success with sweet woodruff as a ground cover in my boggy, shady garden -- amongst the rhodos, azaleas, cedars, etc. It stays green all year and has a wonderful show of tiny white flowers in the spring. It spreads easily, yet I find it manageable, although there are mixed opinions as to whether or not it is invasive.
     
  10. Loulou

    Loulou Member

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    To: Artnerd
    Sounds to me like the very best, most interesting planting at your front door would be the aucuba japonica. It has a variety of colours appearing on the green leaves in spots and splashes of lighter green. Very interesting, and while it will grow, it will not grow so big, so fast that you need to replace it soon just to get in the front door. The skimmia would be my second choice. Perhaps it would go nicely in some of the other beds? Good luck.

    By the way, re the aucuba, I got mine as a cutting/small division off a larger plant, which I rescued out of a beautiful yard which was being levelled by the (yuck) developers. That original yard had the original remodelled farmhouse on the top of a hill, with a pool and probably 200 heritage trees and shrubs. Next thing we knew it was levelled (nothing green left) so that the developer could install five super large homes. Such a shame. That's Delta for you!!
     

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