Shade Gardening forum: Small tree, shrub or bush suggestions for shade

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Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4a)
God made dirt! Dirt don't hurt!
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mnmat
Sep 18, 2016 12:04 PM CST
I'm embarrassed to show you this picture. This spring I moved into a 20-year empty house. That means 20 years of neglected overgrown Gardens. This area was used for storage as I have no sheds on my property. Well actually, I had 2 of them but they were falling down so I had to get rid of them.

This year I tackled the front and side Gardens. Obviously the ones that could be seen from the street. Next year this Garden is on my to do list. It gets almost no sun. I go out at 7 in the morning and it's still in the shade. It has a Northeastern exposure and 7 feet deep under the windows. As you can see I have started planting hostas at the end. I tried to put it off till next year but a friend was digging up a whole bunch of Hosta that were growing in the middle of her grass and just brought me over several bags full. What can I do? I couldn't say no, wait till next year, right?

I want a small tree or shrub that won't get bigger than 4 feet tall as I don't want to cover up the two windows. Something that blooms and smells good would be preferable but not mandatory. In the 20 years of neglect a lot of tree seedlings sprouted and took root in all the gardens so obviously, I will have to spend some time digging out those mini trees in the corner.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm having a hard time finding something. It seems every time I find something interesting it needs full sun or a different Zone.


Thumb of 2016-09-18/mnmat/a1389b

Meri
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Sep 18, 2016 12:21 PM CST
Look through the Kalmia plants - evergreen, hardy to your zone, pretty flowers. I was also thinking Sarcococca but that is pushing your zone, another evergreen with really tiny but fragrant flowers. Given the corner setting, you may be able to get away with a shrub not quite hardy to your area, although you'd also have to factor in where your prevailing wind is coming from.
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
Sep 18, 2016 6:53 PM CST
http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-ha...
Japanese Kerria
also some Serviceberry stay smaller.
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
Sep 18, 2016 7:37 PM CST
Good ideas Bob. I think one could keep a serviceberry pruned back into a shrub form rather than tree. And it gets lovely fall color. Kerria is another good choice - mine is quite happy to colonize a bit (but not aggressively). Even if it got above window height, it's open enough to not be a serious light detractor.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4a)
God made dirt! Dirt don't hurt!
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mnmat
Sep 19, 2016 8:32 AM CST

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Deb, the winds seem to come from the South West most of the time so that corner would be well protected from the wind. And boy, do we get wind! I always look at plants a zone beyond whats safe here. Over the years I think I've had more good than bad luck keeping them alive. And with the corner being in a well protected spot I'm pretty confident zone 5 would work. I'd like to think even zone 6 would work but factoring in the temperature for z6 I'm not so sure its workable.

I will definitely check out your suggestions, Thank you so much.

Bob, I will check out the Japanese Kerria and the website. The Serviceberry, however, I hate! They grew wild at my last place and they were a real pain in the butt! Rolling my eyes.
Meri
Lititz, PA (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Hellebores Bulbs Xeriscape Lilies Daylilies
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Sequoiadendron4
Sep 25, 2016 7:10 AM CST
Japanese Kerria is a good suggestion. I have 'Pleniflora' and it blooms in the spring and again in mid-late summer. You might check out viburnum acerifolium too. That will get red berries in the fall if you plant two.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
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irisarian
Sep 26, 2016 9:34 AM CST
Try 'pink flowering almond'?
Lititz, PA (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Hellebores Bulbs Xeriscape Lilies Daylilies
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Sequoiadendron4
Sep 26, 2016 10:19 AM CST
Are those able to be grown in full shade? I thought they were more of a sun lover. Also, I'm pretty sure those plants have a short life span due to a variety of maladies, including fireblight.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Sep 28, 2016 11:53 AM CST
I have one area on the east side of my house, behind a tree and under very deep eaves, that gets virtually no sun. I have tried several shrubs and plants there with no success so far. My latest experiment is bugbane (cimicifuga simplex atropurpurea) and it seems to be doing quite well. It isn't a shrub, but it gets to be pretty good size, it blooms, and the blooms are fragrant. And I think the dark tinged foliage is very pretty.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4a)
God made dirt! Dirt don't hurt!
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mnmat
Oct 10, 2016 7:49 AM CST
Irisarian, I take it you love Iris' too! Whenever I move I take them with me. And if one of my sisters has something I don't, I make them share. Rolling my eyes. I love the flowering almond but it does need sun. That was one of my first choices. Sad it wouldn't work. Sighing!

Foraygardengirl are these the ones with 6' tall spikes? That might work too. I just want something tallish to fill the corner. Can these be started from seed? Hmmm

Thank you both for the fine suggestions! Thank You!
Meri

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