Shade Gardening forum: Single evergreen shade plant needed for screening

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 8, 2013 3:00 PM CST
My friend just bought a new home and is looking for a single accent plant to screen a portion of her neighbor's house. She has a smallish triangle area with a mature evergreen (I didn't look closely, perhaps a fir) that has been limbed up, about a 3' azalea on one side of the evergreen, and a blank spot on the other side of the evergreen. Further along, the neighbor has a row of arbs. So, there is just one 'hole' she is trying to plug. Although this is on the south side of her house, it is shaded by both her tree and neighbor's house (probably 6' away). I'm guessing the soil is acidic.

I suggested a tallish mahonia, rhodie, or laurel. I'm guessing she already has plenty of rhodies (a staple here in the Pacific NW), trying to come up with something with a bit of pow to it, as it is what she will look at from her kitchen window. There is a local nursery which has bred a 'Mount Vernon laurel' which I've heard rave reviews of, but have not seen one in person. I figure this month is a good time for a bargain, and also a good time to plant.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Oct 8, 2013 3:17 PM CST
Hi Deb,
How about a Pieris japonica? I like 'Fire on the Mountain'. So much interest in all seasons.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 8, 2013 3:32 PM CST
Good idea, I'll add that to the list. She is a recent transplant to Mount Vernon (from Snohomish) and I plan to take her out to Christianson's to introduce her to her new favorite nursery! Seems they have a good sale toward end of October, I think we'll just see what they have in a fairly mature shrub, she's anxious to get the screen in place.

And, double bonus, Pieris is supposed to be a magnet for the mason bees.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Oct 8, 2013 5:57 PM CST
https://www.google.com/search?q=aucuba+japonica+images&clien...
Aucuba Japonica Gold Dust Plant. Adds a bit of color to a shaded area.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Oct 8, 2013 6:30 PM CST
Hydrangea? That's the largest plant that I grow under my evergreen trees.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Oct 8, 2013 6:35 PM CST
chelle said:Hydrangea? That's the largest plant that I grow under my evergreen trees.


Well, duh! *Blush* Guess hydrangea aren't an option...they're not evergreen. Hilarious!


Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 8, 2013 9:04 PM CST
No worries, Chelle, all suggestions tend to trigger other ideas. Barn-storming, I think they call that.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 8, 2013 9:04 PM CST
Ha ha myself -- in retrospect I think it is brain-storming (although barn-storming sounds more garden-y...)
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Oct 9, 2013 5:28 AM CST
Funny how word associations get skewed sometimes, isn't it? Then it is kind of like barnstorming; which direction/word to fly/use do I choose... Blinking Big Grin



>>So...a screen-sized evergreen for planting under an evergreen; that's a tough one when it's also in deep shade.

The only solution I can think of right now is maybe a decorative fence section for the actual screening, with smaller plants of either type (more choices here) shade plants in front of it?
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 9, 2013 10:10 AM CST
I've also thought of a thread-leaf cypress or perhaps even a shade-tolerant tallish grass, leaving the stalks standing over winter.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Oct 9, 2013 11:06 AM CST
I have several tallish grasses growing as screens in part shade here; they're pretty enough, but they do flop. Hey! That's right! I nearly forgot that we made some taller prop panels that we're going to use for that purpose next year. I figure if I can get some support up to mid-height some of the grass blades will grow through it but the main part of the plant and the blooms might stay more upright. As it is now, once we get a decent rain they lay over on the plants in front of them. I don't want to move them out; I really enjoy watching the sun play through the swaying seed heads all winter long.
Bet something like that might work very well if you do decide to go with a grass.

I really do need to get those panels out, get them painted and put the hinges on while the weather's still cooperating!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
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virginiarose
Oct 13, 2013 4:18 AM CST
I think these are all great suggestions and I would just like to add that I grow a Nandina, 'Heavenly Bamboo' that gets 8 feet tall but you can prune it any size you want, it has beautiful neon red berries and year round interest, and other evergreen shrubs like 'Golden Mop', 'Emerald Green' arborvitae which is the only one you can prune, also I love my Camellia Bush.

The one Bob suggested is something my mother had and I never knew what it was she just called it the
'Speckled Bush', but I do know it grew fast because I was always pruning it! Blinking



Thumb of 2013-10-13/virginiarose/40cd02 Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica)Thumb of 2013-10-13/virginiarose/b83131

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 14, 2013 12:37 AM CST
My friend and I are going to nurseries on Tuesday and I'll let you know what she decides on. I will go armed with a list of all your great ideas.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Oct 14, 2013 3:01 AM CST
Have fun, Deb! Green Grin!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 14, 2013 8:38 AM CST
I agree Hurray!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 17, 2013 9:01 AM CST
Well, I thought I would be reporting a successful purchase, but my friend is having a hard time making decisions. She and her husband recently sold their family home and seriously downsized which has somewhat paralyzed my friend emotionally. They bought a much smaller house close to their grandkids, but it is definitely a project house rather than move-in-ready. She is at times overwhelmed by it all...

One combination we liked was a good sized fatsia flanked by a couple lightly speckled gold dust plants (aucuba) with Japanese forest grass at the forefront. I thought that all meshed well together and was bright. Vick had a fatsia at her old house and was troubled with the leaves getting eaten or diseased and looking ratty. She would pull them off, then had holes in the shrub. Has anyone had this problem, and if so, how did you address it?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Oct 17, 2013 9:23 AM CST
Nope. Not me. I didn't even know this plant, but I guess that's because it's so far out of our hardiness zone. It's gorgeous though...wish we could grow it here.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills -
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evelyninthegarden
Nov 6, 2013 11:27 PM CST
Deb ~ Has she seen the Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow' (Drooping Leucothoe)?

I don't have a picture of it but it may be in the database.

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