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Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 24, 2016 1:51 PM CST
Mertensia virginica, commonly known as Virginia bluebells are one of my favorite late spring perennials. They self sow unobtrusively around the garden and put on a long show until temperatures start rising in late spring or early summer. In the wild they are typically found in moist woodland meadows, but they tolerate dry shade in my garden. The blue color is most welcome in the garden - it compliments most other flower colors beautifully.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 24, 2016 2:26 PM CST
Neal, I really like Virginia Bluebells too. The parents of a friend of ours have a 500 acre farm that is along the Potomac River that looks like that second picture in spring. Absolutely beautiful. I've been trying for years to get a smaller version of that look down along the creek bank along the entrance drive to the property. I've only been able to add 10 to 15 plants a year and they just aren't spreading at all. Slow going. I finally decided that I'll buy volumes of plugs - planting 100+ each year, but I probably won't start until 2017, not enough time to get to everything that I already have planned for 2016 Green Grin! They look really nice combined with old fashioned bleeding hearts (dicentra spectabilis) and trilliums too
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Jan 25, 2016 7:19 AM CST
That woodland pic of Mertensia is absolutely stunning! I have a small clump but find them slow to increase as well. They are such a pretty blue; they certainly are a complement as Neal says. Good luck with your creek bed planting Terri, it will be beautiful.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 25, 2016 10:56 AM CST
Terri, the farm you described sounds stunning! I have happened upon wooded areas while hiking that were carpeted with them- truly breathtaking. I started with just 2 plants 7 years ago. Increase was slow at first, but in the 4th year I started finding seedlings and since then increase has been steady but confined. I believe the area I have them growing is dryer than they would prefer.

I've considered harvesting the seed, but have never been able to get more than a few. They hide well and are hard for me to see.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Bee Lover Sedums
Hostas Dog Lover Xeriscape Region: Minnesota Heucheras Butterflies
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foraygardengirl
Jan 25, 2016 8:46 PM CST
Srunning photos. I think I need to get some of these.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.

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