Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shade plantings with Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer talked to a crowded room. The garden guild monthly meeting brought in over 60 people interested in learning about growing plants in the shade that we all seem to share here in the neighborhood.

He made a point of how established neighborhoods have to grapple with this issue.  I want to recap some of his points and suggested plants here for those who did not make the meeting. For more examples of shade gardens click on link:  bhg.com/

  • ·       Use foliage to create interest. Use different sizes, shapes, textures, colored and variegated varieties, different leaf shapes—fine, fat, long, use mosses, grasses fern.
  • ·       Include shade plants that bloom like turks cap,
  • ·       Include statuary, pots in colors and shapes
  • ·       Encourage growth that displays seasonal change like holly fern
  • ·       Find things you love and use lots of them in groupings. Repeat shapes and forms in groupings.
  • ·       Decide what kind of space and shape YOU like and use that. If you like flowing areas or regimented straight lines, your garden should include the shapes you enjoy.
  • ·       Make spaces utilitarian spaces that draw YOU into them—that you want to spend time in.
  • ·       Be practical about what you can maintain.
  • ·       Establish water and heat zones for the plantings.
Shade grasses that do well:  inland sea oats (big area), Aztec Grass-Liriope muscari, for ½ shade: Gulf muhly—2 ½’ tall, miscanthus giagantus-gets tall,

Shade groundcovers: straggler daisy—horse herb—4-6” tall, gingers—variegated to 3-3 ½’ tall, hidden ginger- curcuma, scilla peruviana—dormant in heat but comes out in purple flowers in spring
Perenials:  columbines grow in high shade or partial shade, salvias—broad leaf tolerates more shade, tropical sage—white, red, peach, Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' is unique. 

Shrubs- natives are found along the shade line or under the trees. Recommended Mexican Buckeye and red bud, Mountain Laurel; woody plants: flowering quince and jasmine.Oxalis sorrel grows in deep shade as does Asiatic jasmine. For shade vines: star jasmine, cross vine.

No comments:

Post a Comment