shrubs for dry part shade fence row

lilylouise(z6NY)April 11, 2008

I give up! in the past five years I've attempted a narrow perennial bed with iris, daylily, and aster against a chain link fence shaded by my neighbors dense row of barely hanging on pines, spruces, hemlocks etc. In the summer they have a southern exposure but there are still blocks of heavy shade and excedingly dry areas. I have watered appropriately but I gotta read the signals the perennials are giving me-few flowers and slow growth.

So my plan is to move them and put in a row of shrubs that have a chance to survive this setting. Of course I would like to do this economically. The length of the bed is about 50 ft and the width can come out from under the canopy a bit. The native soil tends to be sandy and acid. Ideally I love a tapestry effect but I'm a realist will entertain any and all suggestions. Help!

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I would like to know also.
Last year I planted some dwarf burford holly just because they were $2 bucks each on sale. Also, they might not get so huge as some people say dwarf burfords can get due to the conditions, I'm hoping just a manageable 4 ft. or so.
Also, I planted some ordinary heavenly bamboo (nandina) because I read somewhere they can handle adverse conditions.
It's too early to tell if they'll "hang in there", though.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:58AM
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philipw2(7 MD/DC)

My hydrangea arborense Annabelle take pretty dry conditions and propagate quite easily through cuttings or by putting a brick on a branch midsummer for a couple of months to get it to root. That way by buying a few plants you can end up with a bunch.

Similarly my aucuba japonica gives many babies by seeding nearby. (Can you grow it in NY?)

PG hydrangea limelight provided children through stems that I used as stakes. I haven't done this yet, but I'll bet a brick on a branch will get you a baby.

I bought a fresh bunch of curly willow branches at a farmers market for decoration in the house. I put them in a vase with water and they rooted. I potted them and I now have a forest of curly willow saplings that I cut. (Warning do not put anywhere near your water or drain systems. Mine are 50 feet away.) Forcithia stems which are sold by the bundle can also be rooted this way.

But nothing beats a nursery that is dumping shrubs onto the market.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 1:34PM
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A deciduous bush that can take "abuse" is "Fireball" burning bush. It gets 5' tall by 7' wide and has great red fall color.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Mapleleaf viburnum can handle dry shade down here (once established, of course, everything needs to be helped the first year). It also has very colorful fall foliage. Highbush blueberries seem to do fairly well also.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:34PM
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How about one of the cultivars of Kerria Japonica?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 7:04AM
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