Looking for some advice

kmsimmons(7b)March 13, 2013

Looking for some help due to odd sun exposure in my back yard. All the trees in my back yard are deciduous, so from when the leaves drop to when they fill in, my back yard is in full sun. Once the trees fill in in Spring I would say it is part sun. As we get closer to the peak of summer my garden bed at the back of the yard gets less and less sun until it only gets about an hour as the sun passes over, and then as we move into fall it gets more and more sun until the leaves drop. We have some azaleas that have done well here, as well as euonymus. One euonymus (manhattan) has gotten huge and due to it be "so wild looking" , my husband wants to move it to the other side of our chicken wire fence. Last year I planted a lot of stuff in this bed, and I am waiting to see how well those things do this year. Once this big bush moves there will be a huge area that is in need of planting. I am hoping you can offer advice as far as evergreen shrubs, preferably flowering evergreen shrubs and perennials that you think would fare well with the sun exposure.
Thanks for any help offered!

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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

There are several varieties of cranesbill that would do well in full or part sun, Rozanne being one of them. Sedum does well in full or part sun. Solomon's Seal (I have had variagated in a similar area for years and it does great.) I am trying Astrantia in that area this year.

As for shrubs, a Rainbow Leukothoe would be beautiful. It has variagated leaves, green, white, burgundy and pink, so even when it isn't blooming, it really pops in part sun. You can easily control the size as well. You can even use the stems in cut flower arrangements. Blooms white. Perfect shrub in my opinion. Very few of the online pics do it justice, but there are a few good ones. The colors are very rich.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:15PM
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If that part of the bed is mostly in shade I suggest Dogwood. There are some lovely variagated varieties. They grow about 5 feet tall at maturity and thrive in full shade to part shade. I have a couple in my shady north facing front flower bed and they are almost at maturity. They have white and green tipped leaves and small white flowers in spring. The flowers are insignificant though. It is the leaves that give a bright background to the flowers. Some have red bark that lends winter interest

Cedar does fine in part shade and Yew does well in full shade and part shade.

As for flowers I recommend Stelka De'oro daylily. It is a reblooming daylily It gives a big flush of bright yellow flowers in June-July and if you trim the flower stalks to below the leaves after they're finished flowering they will send up more flowers. I also recommend bleeding heart luxuriant. It has lovely pink flowers that last from spring until fall if given enough moisture to withstand the hot dry conditions of mid summer

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:39PM
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Just recently my husband was telling me about some rainbow leukothoe that he saw that were very colorful and beautiful, so that's definitely something to look into. Last year I planted 3 brookside geraniums to the left of the giant bush we are considering moving. I will be interested to see how they do this year. Is there a difference in shade tolerance between the brookside and cranesbill?

Thank you both for the help!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 5:12PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Brookside and Rozanne are similar in most respects, including shade tolerance. The main difference is zone. You and I are both in 7b and that is the edge of Brookside, but Rozanne is rated to 8b, so a little more room there. I would say if Brookside doesn't come back for you or doesn't show enough heat tolerance, you may want to give Rozanne a go.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:27PM
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