Pacific Northwest Gardening forum: suggestions for a low water, low maintenance, part shade plants

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Name: Andy
Portland, OR (Zone 8b)
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Oregon Garden Ideas: Level 1
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ofm
Nov 3, 2014 2:57 PM CST
Does anyone have any suggestions for plants that might grow well and thick (but not too tall! 1-2 feet max is good) in a shady spot (under the overhang on the side of the house) that doesn't get any direct rainfall? I don't have any particular color/style preferences, but if i don't get something in there, the weeds will fill it and it's not the easiest spot to weed.
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!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Nov 3, 2014 3:49 PM CST
This will need watering but great once established.
Sempervivum for Sale
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
Nov 3, 2014 4:32 PM CST
I agree with Springcolor - sarcococca is quite hardy, evergreen, and spreads to a good sized low shrub. I get suckers as well (but not badly) if you are trying to fill in an area. To most folks, this also has a very distinct and sweet fragrance when it blooms in early winter, but my nose can't detect it (darn). I have it growing on the north side of my house which gets very little attention, no supplemental water, and only a short amount of morning sun.

Another plant would be Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum') Some folks find this quite invasive, so have caution about that aspect. I don't have problems controlling it, it grows in shady conditions, and brightens up a shady corner with the variegated leaves. This dies back in the winter, although mine is still looking quite healthy now (early November). I cut it back to about 3-4" after flowering so it will put on new growth in late summer.

Another one to brighten a shady corner: Variegated Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost')

Good luck - post pictures of whatever you decide on.
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!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
Image
springcolor
Nov 3, 2014 4:50 PM CST
http://garden.org/plants/browse/plants/genus/tiarella/ One of these might be good for planting in front of the sarcococca. Some are low mat forming.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Andy
Portland, OR (Zone 8b)
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Oregon Garden Ideas: Level 1
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ofm
Nov 26, 2014 11:26 AM CST
Awesome, I will check them out, Thank You! .
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 27, 2016 7:19 PM CST
Please don't plant goutweed its horribly invasive and on the DNR list probably.


Have you tried others
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 28, 2016 7:46 AM CST
I have planted both goutweed (by mistake - man was it invasive and jumped all barriers) and the tiarella. Tiarella is a nice well behaved very low ground cover with cute little delicate white plumes, sort of like astilbe in form. It will spread but you can pull up the runners fairly easily. I have one bunch in a place that gets only morning sun and some rain. I dug some and planted it in another spot that needed a low ground cover but gets full sun and needs to be watered. Did it last summer so it will be interesting to see how it does. The snow is gone there and it comes out of the winter nicely green not all beaten up like Arabis for instance.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Mar 28, 2016 12:26 PM CST
I have found the Sarcococca to be super slow to establish in dry shade, it is taking years (I have not watered them much) I love the smell of the flowers in late winter. Mine is about 7 years old, is now 12" x 12".
Tiarella for me wants some water, obviously struggles when too dry.
The absolute best and most rugged for dry shade that I have found is Epimedium pinnatum ssp colchicum (bright yellow flowers in spring) and Epimedium x warlyense (orange flowers in spring). The Epimedium experts warn that some of the newer fancy varieties are bred from the Chinese species, where it rains in summer so they are often less drought tolerant.
I am also having success, slowly, with Iris foetidissima var. lutea. Mine have yet to bloom, but have clearly established in dry shade. The blooms are not supposed to be very noteworthy, but the persistent red berries that are very showy.
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
Apr 12, 2016 11:59 AM CST
Another thought would be a collection of native ferns (deer, lady, or wood ferns are less robust than sword fern) with some piggy-back, trillium, bleeding heart, and wild ginger interspersed.




Also, if you open some of the above plants in the database, there are some lovely multi-plant photos associated with them that illustrate some great placements done by others. Good luck!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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