Florida Gardening forum: My first attempt at Florida shade gardening :)

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Name: Rhonda
Williston, Florida (Zone 9a)
Gulf fritillary on wild gayfeather
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rvird01
Apr 19, 2014 7:05 PM CST
Late last Spring, I put in my first shade (well, shady for my Florida yard) garden. My sandhills property is more suited for desert gardening than shade gardening. I wanted a place to sit and read and enjoy the butterflies and hummers without frying. It was 10 - 15 degrees cooler under the trees than in the rest of the yard.

I had to clear a path through this clump of trees, trim several branches and dig out lots of roots before planting. I have no method to my madness...just plant what I like. It gets early morning sun, high shade during the day then 1 hour of sun before sunset.

I can't wait for it to fill in this year. I have already added several bee balms, red shrimp plant and 2 hanging baskets of fuschia from the trees. The hummers love this spot as did the zebra longwings last year.

Here's a few pics a month or so after I planted it last year. Enjoy!

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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Apr 20, 2014 10:32 AM CST
Hurray! Very nice, Rhonda! All of our Florida gardens need a nice shade area! Well done! Thumbs up
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 20, 2014 1:50 PM CST
Absolutely lovely. Just a gentle reminder that under the ground there are all the roots of those trees, competing with your flowering plants. The root systems of the trees extend out beyond the reach of the branches, and oaks have roots quite near the surface. So, if you find later in the season that your plants start struggling somewhat, that is the reason. The water, fertilizer and any soil amendments you used when planting the flowers will 'attract' roots of the trees.

I have huge oaks all around the house, and struggled with this for years. Now I plant my favorite shade loving plants in large pots, and move them around as they bloom, for best effect. You can also sink pots into the ground to give your plants a head start, but eventually the trees will get their roots into the pots, too!

Some plants compete well with oak tree roots, and others simply give up. Heliconias, caladiums and gingers seem to do fine in the ground under my oaks, but things with fine roots like cane begonias simply can't compete. Bromeliads are excellent under oaks, as they don't really have much of a root system, and take most of their nutrients from the air. Hummingbirds like several kinds of bromeliad flowers, too.

Long story short, if some of your butterfly plants start to peter out, I'd lift them and put them in pots to keep them going.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rhonda
Williston, Florida (Zone 9a)
Gulf fritillary on wild gayfeather
Image
rvird01
Apr 20, 2014 1:52 PM CST
Thank You! Tara!
Name: Rhonda
Williston, Florida (Zone 9a)
Gulf fritillary on wild gayfeather
Image
rvird01
Apr 20, 2014 2:01 PM CST
Thanks Elaine for the kind words and advice. I figured I'd be battling with the roots and I've been pulling suckers constantly. I'll see what works under the trees and move what doesn't to other places in the yard. I usually get too ambitious and learn through trial and error Rolling my eyes.
[Last edited by rvird01 - Apr 20, 2014 2:27 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #594372 (5)
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
Cat Lover Hibiscus Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Miniature Gardening Keeper of Poultry Herbs Foliage Fan Farmer Dragonflies
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DavidofDeLand
Apr 20, 2014 2:12 PM CST
I wrote you early this morning but guess I forgot to hit 'finished'.

So I'll say it again. Smiling

You have a very pleasant space developing there, and love it! Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.
Name: Rhonda
Williston, Florida (Zone 9a)
Gulf fritillary on wild gayfeather
Image
rvird01
Apr 20, 2014 2:31 PM CST
Thanks David! That means a lot coming from someone with such beautiful gardens Smiling
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
Cat Lover Hibiscus Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Miniature Gardening Keeper of Poultry Herbs Foliage Fan Farmer Dragonflies
Image
DavidofDeLand
Apr 20, 2014 3:39 PM CST
You are so welcome Rhonda, and Thank you. I do all my garden work myself as well as working with others on their's and that means a lot to hear you like the way they look!
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter
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qwilter
Apr 25, 2014 3:47 PM CST
Love that spot under the trees. I use the shade from a huge palm to get my Shade garden. I've been know to drag a chair out there to sit after a hard day of digging in the dirt. I find I'm planting under there more & more in pots. The Iris & gingers are about the only things in the ground.
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Rhonda
Williston, Florida (Zone 9a)
Gulf fritillary on wild gayfeather
Image
rvird01
Apr 25, 2014 7:25 PM CST
Thank You! Jean! That's the first place I head after playing in the dirt too Smiling By the way, I love your profile pic quilt. I quilt too, but not nearly as much as I did when I lived in Ohio. I like to quilt by hand with the quilt over my lap and it kept me cozy warm in the long winters.....just a little too hot here to do that here Hilarious!
Name: Jean
Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter
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qwilter
Apr 26, 2014 5:32 AM CST
A very talented friend created the Avatar for me!!!!! I'm searching for an old metal head & foot board so I can make a garden bed & cover it with a quilt made of flowers.

I was hand sewing binding on a large quilt last nite & wishing it were a few deg cooler!!!!!
Blessed are the Quilters for they are the Piecemakers.
Name: Rhonda
Williston, Florida (Zone 9a)
Gulf fritillary on wild gayfeather
Image
rvird01
May 7, 2014 8:56 PM CST
Jean,

What a nice friend Smiling The quilted flower bed idea is awesome. Plese make sure to post pics if you do create one.

Rhonda

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