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Tue Jun 28, 2016, 11:37 PM

 

What are the best foundation plants for shady zone 7a?

I am *really* excited to plant my front garden (after I get my house painted) I really love vibrant, vivid colored plants, and know I am limited because of my front yard being shaded by a huge elm tree.

But I know I need evergreen foundation plants, and love the schlubby, cottage looking ones. I would like low maintenance, and something that I can plant hydrangeas and peonies in front of for Spring and Summer interest.

Any suggestions would help. My house is white with navy blue shutters and a blue and black roof. Right now, my front door is blue, but I am thinking of changing that up (I am open for suggestions on that too, lol) I would prefer not to have white flowers because of the house. Other than that, I am open...

What do you think?

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply What are the best foundation plants for shady zone 7a? (Original post)
LaydeeBug Jun 2016 OP
SoLeftIAmRight Jun 2016 #1
LaydeeBug Jun 2016 #2
japple Jun 2016 #3
Major Nikon Jun 2016 #4
Curmudgeoness Jun 2016 #5
LaydeeBug Jun 2016 #8
Curmudgeoness Jun 2016 #9
shireen Jun 2016 #6
shireen Jun 2016 #7

Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:48 AM

1. i just do not think like that - have not for thirty years

 

if i can not eat it

or

it is not good for the soil or another animal

i think is is a sad waste

think of the lady bugs and the earth

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Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:56 AM

2. It *is* good for the soil to have foundation plants

 

and it's good for your house too. Foundation plants often absorb more run off water from rain and help maintain a richer soil.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 07:07 AM

3. Hydrangeas will be beautiful and there are many varieties.

Also hostas. One friend of mine has over 60 varieties of hostas ranging from tiny palm-sized plants up to YUUUGE monsters. I think bee balm does well in the shade, too, and the bees, hummers, butterflies are crazy for it. It gets quite tall, but could be used in the background. Ours has been gorgeous this summer inspite of drought here in North Georgia.


http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/bee-balm/bee-balm-care.htm

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:55 PM

4. Not evergreen, but Japanese maples do very well under elm trees

I have two planted as specimens right up next to my house and both are about 20' tall. There's also varietals that are more shrub-like.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 09:19 PM

5. See if you like anything here.

As you can see by the size of the trees, these are all in shade. Nothing is evergreen though. If anything looks interesting, I hopefully can tell you what it is. Beware though, some of these are pretty invasive and have to be controlled, but they do grow and flourish with zero care.



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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 12:44 PM

8. I love those pics...

 

that laid back, easy and unassuming garden that *looks* easy.

Kudos to you!

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Response to LaydeeBug (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 08:34 PM

9. Well, to be honest, most of this is rather invasive.

Pachysandra. Bishop's weed (the light colored plants, they are variegated). Wild geranium (cranebill, it gets nice flowers, I have some that is pink and some white). Lamium (blooms are purple spring and summer). Creeping myrtle (it is wonderful in that it blooms so early and it is great for early for the bees). Mint (mid-summer blooms that all sorts of bees just love). All of these live with no effort in shade. This is the culmination of "survival of the fittest". I planted all kinds of nice plants and it was all neat and orderly. Some took over and others disappeared.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 02:35 AM

6. i'm a big fan of native plants

I've been planting native wildflowers, ferns, and different groundcovers around the house that support pollinators and all life stages of native insects that form the base of the food chain for birds, reptiles and amphibians.

I'm slowly phasing out some non-native shrubs that came with the house. Next year, I'll get some native azaleas and plan to research a few other options for shrubs.

Many states have native plant societies that could help you select and find the right plants. If you're in Maryland, I highly recommend Herring Run Nursery and Chesapeake Natives.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 02:45 AM

7. about shade ...

there are some native perennials that do well in shade ... American alumroot, coral bells, lyre-leaf sage, golden ragwort, robin's plantain, columbine, bleeding heart, wild ginger, trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Sedum ternatum, Solomon's seal and foamflower. Intersperse those with ferns and some carex grasses, and it will look wonderful.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center has a great database of native plants, range, description, growing conditions, and propagation. https://www.wildflower.org

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