What plants do well for you in shade and clay

april_wine(z7 Tennessee)January 20, 2013

I have a small bed at the edge of my back yard just at the edge of woods. I am in zone 7 and have clay soil. I am wondering what does well for other gardeners with similar growing conditions. I have quite a few ferns that do really well. I also have hydrangeas, hostas, 2 types of geraniums, coral bells, daffodils and irises. Any suggestions for what to add?

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Solomon's Seal looks good with all of those and does well in the same conditions.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

I have Columbines and Bergenia as well. Astillbe would also be great as long as the area is not dry, such as near a tree, as that plant will not survive dry soil.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 5:43PM
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april_wine(z7 Tennessee)

I have been reading about bergenia. Also Lamium "White Nancy" and lungworts. I am thinking about buyin a few of these plants to try. It is dry soil but I water as needed. Moss grows in these area so may not be as dry as I think.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:54PM
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In addition to those already listed, Actea (Cimicifuga or bugbane), Veronica 'Georgia Blue', Tiarella, Heucherella (Tiarella x Heuchera), Siberian iris, and Jacob's ladder. There are also shrubs and annuals if you want to consider those.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:32PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

In a small bed there is a lot to be said for repeating plants rather than dotting lots of individuals about. That said - Japanese Anemones, Dicentra (now Lamprocapnos) spectabilis, white Digitalis purpurea and ferns. White flowers or variegated foliage look good in shade.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 6:25AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Epimedium could be added to the list. My Lamium of choice would be Herman's Pride. Variegated Solomon's Seal, to be sure. If your geraniums and iris are doing well, daylily may also do well.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 6:09PM
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april_wine(z7 Tennessee)

I like the look of cimifuga but afraid it will not do well in our hot & humid summers here.But I think tiarella will do good. Flora...thanks for the heads up regarding bed looking better with repeating plants. You are so right and maybe that is what I need to focus more on. I am definitely looking at more variegated foliage. Tsugajunkie...I like your suggestion of epimedium too! I had to move the daylilies from this bed due to not receiving enough sun. Thanks everyone for your suggestions! You all have been most helpful!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:00PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I would agree with Solomon's Seal, Tiarellas, Dicentra spectabilis, and the Lamium that is my favorite is 'Purple Dragon' which has been a very good performer and has larger flowers than some of the others. My favorite is Epimedium though. I have been adding those to the garden for many years. They have been fool proof and indestructible and you can buy those that clump, rather than 'run', which I appreciate. And although they are not flashy and are out of bloom most of the season, they earn their keep for their freedom from problems and their ability to grow in any situation in my garden.

One that you might not think of, is Lunaria, a biennial, If you like reseeding. Mine will reseed under the canopy of large maples to my surprise. The Lunaria blooms at the same time as Dicentra and I love combining it with the white dicentra.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, I meant to add, Hellebore, is a very easy, and trouble free plant here too.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:17AM
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april_wine(z7 Tennessee)

I ordered Lamium "purple Dragon", Solomon's seal, and Hellebores this morning from Santa Rosa Gardens. Excited for Spring to get here! I am not familiar with Lunaria, prairie moon, but if it reseeds, I need to read up on it. Thanks for all your help.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:08PM
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april_wine(z7 Tennessee)

Prairie moon, I just read about Lunaria. I had heard of money wort but didn't know they had such beautiful blooms! I am going to try to find me some Lunaria! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Your welcome, April, good luck! I don't have time right now, but tomorrow I will try to post a photo of the Lunaria I have in the garden.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:54PM
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