Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

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Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby wildflax » Jul 07, 2011 8:27 pm

I posted this also in the Garden Gallery section but thought more might see it here: I'm helping to plan a shade rectangular area approx. 12'X 8' in between a garage door, sidewalk, and front stoop. Any ideas for a family that has very little time to do gardening but has a mom who needs a meditation spot for her sanity after a day's work and taking care of her husband and four kids? Thanks.
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Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby Tigger » Jul 08, 2011 9:48 am

Can you tell us what's providing the shade? Which way does the house face? I'm trying to frame the area (and wrestle with the idea of a calm meditation spot next to the front door!).
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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby paul_in_mn » Jul 08, 2011 12:25 pm

Include Japanese Painted ferns and Red Lady Fern.

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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby wildflax » Jul 08, 2011 2:09 pm

The garden area to be created faces West and is shaded by a large tree standing South of it and actually south of the front door. It might get a little late evening sun but not much during the day. So one long side bordered by the house, one side by the driveway, the other long side by a sidewalk, the fourth short side by the stoop/cement porch. In general faces the front yard and the lamppost small garden shown in the picture I will attach (hopefully). It also faces the street in the suburbian neighborhood.
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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby Tigger » Jul 08, 2011 2:41 pm

Paul has a good idea with the ferns. Very calming. I would frame the area (foundation planting?) with maybe inkberry holly, which is easy to prune to shape. Create an asymmetrical space to soften the hard rectangle. Then japanese painted ferns and lady ferns around a seating area, darker green hostas, and one or two accent hostas with clean white edges (more calming and with better dim-light impact than ones with gold edges, although gold highlights could catch that evening light and really pop). Leave some space to fill in with a few white impatiens each year for flowers. I would stick to a narrow color palette (even just green and white).

You're a few climate zones away from me, so I hesitate to make too many recommendations on "low-maintenance." You could certainly use vinca minor as a groundcover, since it wouldn't be able to escape. Don't forget to include some spring bulbs, like short white narcissus (for example, 'Thalia') or crocus ('Joan of Arc'), and snowdrops for early spring bloom.

You sound like a super sister!
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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby wildflax » Jul 09, 2011 8:59 am

Wonderful suggestions! Thank you everyone! If you think of anything else, please feel free to tag them on. :)
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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby Angel3K » Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Vinca Minors will work, once it come out of the frame,as they tend to in my little front frame, then you can sort of tug it back.

Heucheras too - I'm thinking of the golden to light green shades, to add color, plus it comes back every year. You can combine these with Hosta Gold Edger, ah because gold edger really thrives well.
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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby oldcoot » Dec 28, 2011 1:01 pm

[Chris will Love OC for this, but I think Hosta's are the perect plant in a shade Garden. Also Arum Itallicum for stripped color and Orange Berries later on in the Summer.size=150][/size] :) :) :)
There may be snow in the garden, but there will always be eternal springtime in the heart of this old gardner - Saying of Old Coot
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Re: Favorite low maintenance shade garden plants?

Postby gamekeeper » Feb 22, 2012 12:43 pm

I find most shade plants low maintanence.See what looks like Jackfrost Brunnera,it is the most soothing to me at dust I look at the ones I have and they radiate like when I was younger and smoked pot.
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