planting suggestions for shady border next to (ugly) house

springbasilApril 6, 2011

We have a very long strip of dirt that has long been in need of some plants. Our deer-proofing gates are almost finished and I am ready to get some plants in the ground! There are two long spaces, each 2' by 20'. One of the spaces gets about 2 hours of morning sun. The other is mostly shaded throughout the day.

We are vegetable, fruit, herb growers, but sadly know very little about other, more decorative plants. We would love to learn about what plants would make a nice grouping that will hide a bit of our not-so-pretty dirty white house wall.

I mistakenly posted a photo earlier titled "a shady border - before."

Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!

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Here is the photo again I hope.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 6:14PM
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I have a long shady strip along a sidewalk too. It is filled with Hostas, ferns, Heuchera/coral bells, Lenten Roses. Trillium and I add some Impatiens in the summer for flowers. There is a ceramic frog and a few mossy rocks, a pot of ivy with angel wing begonias by the door. I am in a cooler zone than you. There is something every season.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 9:42PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Pansies do well in shade also, come in a zillion cheery colors, and should bloom all winter as long as you remove the dead flowers. They should be easy to find at nurseries and big box stores. You say you've solved the deer problem -- what about rabbits? Pansies are a favorite snack.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 12:06AM
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Thank you for the ideas! I'm going to go research each of them. I'm familiar with hostas, ferns and impatiens, but none of the others. Thank you!

Does anyone have any recommendations for taller plants or even vines that might do well there?

Luckily we do not have rabbits but we do have gophers. I wonder if they could find their way under a huge expanse of patio? Yikes those would be some very determined gophers!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 12:15AM
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If you are inclined to stick with "tried and true," aspidistra, holly fern, Japanese ardisia, liriope and mondo, all evergreen, relatively hassle-free, and hardy to zone 8. Blue Shade would give you a little color, but will die back in winter. I don't know about vines. Most vines will want more light than that, and some might damage the side of your house.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 9:56AM
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alameda/zone 8

I have a shady brick wall on the north side of my house with a bathroom window in the middle. I put a birdbath under the window, found 2 great looking metal trellises at Lowes and planted star jasmine on them [will bloom and smell wonderful in spring, stay green all year]. I am just now working on this bed, but wanted the height as the wall is tall. You could do a concrete statue on a pedestal for interest other than plants - birdbath....or whatever kind of statuary that appeals to you. I am including plants of different heights and textures, and will use caladiums and impatiens for summer interest. I think the elements of height via the trellises and statuary will bring the eye upward and not just have low growing plants. Unfortunately my favorites of roses and daylilies will be reserved for other parts of the yard due to lack of sun, but I am having fun using the plants others have suggested to make this narrow shady border interesting. Oh, and I had a window box put under the window, with blooming and trailing plants in it - you could do this also along with other types of wall hanging baskets with flat backs, and also look for wall hanging art or garden related items to hang on the wall and add interest.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:37AM
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