Shade Gardening forum: Hello and questions from Newbie!

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Name: David
Monroe, NC (Zone 7b)
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davidargen
Oct 20, 2016 11:42 AM CST
Hello and thanks for the add! We have just moved from Chicago to Monroe, NC near Charlotte.Summers here are hot, and this summer at least, quite dry. We have modest ambitions for our property, which was a bit neglected by the previous owner. I have many, many questions but I will restrict myself to several so that I am not too much of a pest! I will include a few photos to accompany.
1) Our backyard is mostly shade, due to a huge old pecan tree. I spread five pounds of white clover to create groundcover, and some took, but it certainly isn't thick coverage. Are there any grasses or mixes you'd recommend?
2) I am thinking of planting several tea olives along the shared fence for privacy and appearance. This area gets several hours of dappled sunlight a day. How will they do? Is there a superior alternative that is fragrant and flowering?
3) Knock-Out rose bushes along the front fence--several hours of good sun per day. How will they do?
4) Previous owner planted several camillias where the tea olives are going. As you can see from the photo, they're not thriving. Can I/should I move them? There are several others around the property that seem to be doing well, many buds--BTW when the heck do they bloom? I've read that certain varieties bloom in late Fall?
5)We inherited an old creeping rose bush that I've cut back like crazy. It wasn't producing any blooms. Can it be saved? Should I cut it back further? Work the soil with rose food? Give up and start over?
6) Sedum and phlox around the borders of the house. Lots of sun in the front, shady in the back. Sandy soil. Good idea? Better ideas?

Thanks so much if anyone has the time and patience to answer!


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What IS that?!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Oct 21, 2016 1:18 PM CST
I have never gardened in the South, but you seem to have a good start. Join in the Southern regional threads here & be patient. You may see hidden gems on the property. A dry summer may be different from the normal weather. Can you get in touch with the local horticultural dept? the actual names escapes me at the moment. They may be able to test your soil. See how the roses work in the spring although ours (David Austin roses) are trimmed back in March.
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Region: United States of America Bookworm Echinacea Seed Starter Region: Alabama
Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Tropicals
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Kabby
Oct 22, 2016 4:19 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA David. I have never clicked on the shade gardening forum and then to find someone living in Monroe. I lived in Wingate many yrs ago so I know exactly where you are.
I'm going to try to whittle down your questions but only the ones I know about. Your yard looks great by the way.
1. St Augustine grass is what we have in my mom's yard and it is also planted under her pecan tree. A lot of good coverage but still some bare areas.
2. I planted my tea olives on the north side of of my house. They were shaded by water oaks but got morning sun and they did well blooming in the fall and spring. Three yrs ago winds took out my oaks and now there is full sun. I also have gardenias planted in the same area. So yes tea olives will grow in partial shade, (I don't know if your dappled sun is enough) and gardenias too for those wonderful fragrances you seek. You might try one of each before you commit to many. You seem like a young man, you have time to see them grow. Hilarious!
3 Knockout roses will do just fine. Our winter was so mild that they bloomed through except Feb. I do prune down to about 1 1/2 to 2 ft during the winter to neaten them up.
4 Not a clue. Rolling on the floor laughing I ought to be ashamed of myself, it's the AL state flower but they don't appeal to me.
5. Umm, unless you are totally opposed to your creeping rose staying, give it some food next spring and see how it does.
6 Phlox and Sedum I adore both. You need your sunny spots for these. The phlox may droop in the summer if it get's too dehydrated but a good drink will perk it back up. It is recommended to water at the base of phlox because they can mildew. Sandy soil is what I have so mulch around the phlox to retain moisture but not right up to the stems. Sedum that grow fanatically for me are Coral Reef and Lemon Ball.
Alright I think you might be on your way! Hurray!

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