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After the daffodils -- What then?

Posted by birchhill New York (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 19, 09 at 6:27

I have a large area that is shaded by four very tall oak trees. A few years ago I planted several hundred daffodils and they have done well because they bloom long before the trees start to leaf out.

My question is this. What can I grow in this area after the daffodils have bloomed? I leave their foliage undisturbed until it has turned brown but what else could I grow in this area after the daffodils have faded? I tried a few astilbe last season and they seemed to do OK but didn't have much of a visual impact. I also tried a few foxglove but they are biennials and I don't think mine produced any seedlings for future years. The shade is not total in summer -- more of a dappled pattern. I would prefer perennials with low maintenance requirements.

Any suggestions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: After the daffodils -- What then?

This issue comes up over and over! You will find you are not alone. Check threads on the perennials forum too, you will find lots of great suggestions. Do a search with some keywords. I have the same conditions, under 3 ash trees. The things to remember are, you need perennials that do not mind tree roots for competition. The trees will suck out much of the water so you probably have dry shade. There are lots of plants that like moist shade but fewer choices for dry. The bulbs DO like it dry so that part is good. I find that the bulbs in my tree area perform well year after year, much better than in my main garden.

FWIW, you can have the benefit of what Ive tried. I also have astilbe. They have grown incredibly slowly. I like them but will not buy more for there unless I can get them really inexpensively. Hosta dont like it there. They live but dont grow. After 5 years some are the same size as when I planted them. Lamium is doing well. Hardy true geraniums (not the annual pot "geranium", which is a different species) like geranium sanguineum seem to be doing well: not much bloom there but they have attractively shaped leaves that also turn color in the fall so it doesnt matter. Ferns are doing well. I am trying the woodland route with some trilliums. But the hardy geraniums have been the best. There are many colors available.

RE: After the daffodils -- What then?

How about Forget-me-nots? They do well in part shade. They are called Myosotis Copindi (Forget-me-nots). Or campanula's, heuchera's?

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