The Q&A Archives: Perennials and Bulbs for Damp and Shady Areas

Question: We live in Newark, NJ. We have tulip and gladiolus bulbs planted year round. In the spring, we plant many, many impatiens and enjoy the colors for as long as they last. Our soil is rich, but rockey and damp. We would like to plant some colorful plants or bushes in our front yard, but the dampness and lack of strong sun have killed most everything we have planted. Suggestions? We prefer perennials over annuals, but are desperate for color and volume. Also, would impatiens grow year round in a climate like that found in theWest Indies? Finally, How do you distract squirrels from eating impatiens and tulips?

Answer: For damp, shady areas try these perennials and bulbs (from earliest to latest bloom): Leucojum, Primula, Vinca minor, Camassia, Phlox divaricata, Aruncus, Astilbe, Hosta, Lobelia, as well as many ferns. Yes, impatiens is a perennial in the West Indies. Try an animal repellent for the squirrels.

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