anyone garden??

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    so tmrw. i'm going to work on this huge patch of dirt we have outside our living room window it's pretty big. it gets partial sun, yet mostly shade. i was going to get some bushes yet priced them and their insanely expensive. so i figured for now id' fill it with a few small plants that are like bushes hard to explain yet alot less expensive..... and perinnials....

    anyone know of any good bright ones i can plant that work well in mostly shaded areas?? i've made this my new project to redirect my mind.

    theres this great guy locally that sells flowers outside his home when he prunes and trims his own trees. yet he's not like home depot he wont give info just names are on plants their like only 5 bucks each.

    figured ipod on tmrw and planting than a nice dinner alone is my plan :)

    i'm retarded when it comes to planting i'm new at it. never had a house so this gardening thing is new for me! my perinnials from last year came up though that was kinda cool
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Mums are pretty hardy and fairly cheap. They do well just about anywhere or have for me. Just cut them back once they stop blooming in late fall. (although I've skipped it and not had an issue)

    If the plot is close to the house be careful of some bushes as they can mess up water pipes and such due to root growth.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Google "partial shade perennial" to find what will work best for you. If you have an idea of what type of soil you have, all the better. If it's right up against the house you may be getting more warmth than you think, so be sure that you get something hardy enough to go without a lot of water - especially if it gets any Southern exposure. It's probably a good spot for Hydrangeas, Dahlia's, Ornamental Grass, Columbine, Lilies, Crocosmia, standing Fuchsia. Lots of good plants for what you are thinking of.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    The cheap all time favorite for shaded areas is the hostas along with ferns. Two pretty common, fairly inexpensive plants for shaded areas. Lily of the valley, atilbe, coral bells, fox gloves to name a few. You see my house faces north & my front yard gets very little sun during the day.

    A good bush would be hydrangea or columbine.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'd love to advise you but what would work in your area is a total unknown for me. What I suggest you do, is look around gardens in your neighbourhood, see hat other people are growing successfully that you like. I also like herbs, I could advise you there. You can get some herbs which are also pretty. One of my favourites is a thing called Mexican tarragon. It is lush and green, has a fabulous flavour and when it flowers it produces tiny bright yellow flowers like miniature marigolds. Or you could plant thyme, or lemon thyme and trim it to a round cushion. Stuff handfuls into a chicken you're about to roast.

    Flowering plants - two possibilities that may work for you are Brunsfelsia (aka "yesterday, today and tomorrow") which flowers in white, mauve and blue on the same bush. The flowers actually change colour as they age on the bush. We also have a Tibouchina here that does the same thing - different shades of purple and pink on the same tree. I think you can get it in a dwarfing form. Tibouchina used to be called Lassiandra, I think it originated in South Africa.

    I like easy-care plants. We have a lot of Australian native plants which I love, but are an acquired taste, perhaps. A dwarf lilli-pilli might be interesting for you, it has purple fruit which are pleasant to eat. For a beautiful Aussie flowering bush, look for grevillea. The variety "Robyn Gordon" is a classic, but a variant on it is named after one of our most famous bushrangers - "Ned Kelly". If you have any parrots, they love to eat the flowers. These bushes flower most of the year (all the year here) and, I think, are even fairly snow-proof.

  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I am the black thumb of death to our chlorophyll using friends. I would love to dig up my tiny yard and cover it with green concrete! I have privacy hedges in front of it that came with the house and which mostly hide my yard - YAY!

    My neighbor gardens and she tells me I'd enjoy the suburbs more if I did as well. However, I am a city girl at heart and the thought of gardening is upsetting to me. Besides, water costs so much...

    I will say that my neighbor has beautiful smelling vines of honeysuckle in her yard and she grows basil, oregano and tomatoes, so I would guess you can grow those things as well. My friends who garden have also done strawberry vines. For flowers, I see lots of roses, jonquils and daisies so I guess those grow here as well.

    Good luck and have fun. I am off to a town cleanup with baby boy (he gets extra credit in his science class) and then I'll have the night to myself because H and the boys are going camping.
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I have a shady garden on the north side of my house. The old standbys for shade are hosta and ferns. Hydrangias do well, solomon's seal, helebore for early blooms, lilies should work, lily of the valley if you want a spreading ground cover, astilbe..there are a lot of others. Check at your nursery and if it's expensive make a list and then go buy your plants at WalMart or some similar place. I've had great luck with their plants. You can do a search on the internet and find lots of ideas. Just be sure they're hardy in your area.
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Love to garden-but Utah is a lot different than N.Y. I'll share a few things I've learned. Pay attention to plant height-tall in back and shorter in front. A few small bushes give a perennial border some "bones"- may be worth buying a few. Soil is everything-needs to be loosened and organic matter or compost added. Ask a neighbor if you have acid or alkaline soil, this matters when adding ammendments. I got many plants from neighbors as "starts" when we built our home as we were too poor to buy everything at the time. You have to be patient with perennial gardens- they take a few years to fill in anyway. I mulch because weeds can be bad especially when you start a new bed (all the digging gets weed seeds going). In our area grass clippings work well as mulch (they don't look the best but are free) because our soil is so alkaline and clay like.
    Some ideas:
    cheaper bushes-cotoneaster ( many species adapted for many places and many do well in partial shade) they have pretty red berries as well
    grape holly-also pretty purple berries and usually low growing
    mugo pine-slow growing small and adaptable
    privets/boxwoods-many small varieties

    perennials that are easy- coral bells,fox glove (reseeds and is biennial),bleeding heart, sweet william (reseeds) will tolerate some shade and is cheap and easy to gow from seed, leopards bain (beautiful yellow daisy like flowers and long lived perennial) , blue bells (easy and also reseed), some shasta daisies tolerate partial sun, I've had good luck with iris and a tall/old variety of day-lilies in my partial shade area (got all these as starts from a neighbor-now very beautiful and still going 12 years later!)

    If you have snails (as we do) be carefull as they can devastate a shade area esp. they love hostas! You can't get rid of them totally, so better to plant things they wont destroy.
    I hope you love tending this bed-it is great therapy!
  9. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    forgot to mention, if you want to add some color with annuals try impatiens or begonia. Plant them en masse and you'll have blooms all summer.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks i got up and came to this post to write it all down today........ :)
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Which direction does that particular area of your garden face?
  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Lilies of the Valley and Hellebore are also extremely toxic.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Lily of the Valley is toxic? Wow, and that's a favorite of mine.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hostas work well in shade and come up every yr.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    To protect your precious plants form snails, surround the plants with a ring of coffee grounds. Decaf also works, but "full-leaded" is more effective. It's the caffeine in the beans that kills slugs and snails as they try to cross it. Obviously, put the coffee grounds on cold and not hot. It really works!

    Maybe Malika would like us to send her the snails? Sorry, Malika - maybe I'm being racist. But I do know people who have used garden snails for food. You collect the snails from a pesticide-free garden (coffee grounds don't count) and put them in a breathable container with fresh lettuce leaves for a few days, to purge the snails of any grit in their digestive tract. Personally I haven't been able to do this because I can't stand the process of boiling them.

  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Very kind thought, Marguerite - but no thanks! Despite half my DNA being French, I have never eaten snails and don't intend to start... On which subject, comfrey planted around the plants you wish to protect from snails also works well - they like it and veer towards it rather than your beloveds.
    Japanese maples (acers) are pretty and easy to maintain/care for and some varieties are shade loving.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I have eaten snails, Malika. Years ago in a French restaurant in inner Sydney. Not bad, but too much trouble. I had to study them at uni, I hated the mucus aspect of them, so i could never cooke them myself.

    I find marigolds get eaten by snails and slugs no matter what I do. They get eaten off at ground level, chopped down overnight. We keep hens, which love to eat snails but won't touch the large leopard slugs. So - coffee grounds. Comfrey goes the way of marigolds - eaten thoroughly, fast, then the critturs start in on the vegetables.

  19. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have you tried setting out a low bowl of beer for them?
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We don't drink beer at our house, only rarely. I've never touched the stuff. But I have tried it a few times after a party. If you pour it into an empty margarine container then it works like a pit trap; what falls in can't climb out. Red wine works too - that's generally what I use.

    What has worked for me it a terracotta pot or pipe. The snails crawl in to sleep off their midnight feasting, then I come along and collect them to feed them to the hens.

    Coffee grounds have been the best for me, as good as using commercial snail bat but without killing other animals who might eat the bait too. In Australia we have Blue-Tongued Lizards, huge skinks that eat snails and live in most suburban gardens. These are really big - a foot long or more, a snail is one mouthful for them. But they also eat snail bait, so keeping them away from the bait is tricky. If I use bait I put it under a terracotta pot so the lizards can't get in (too big). The lizards tend to be shy and stay out of sight.