Sunday, April 27, 2008

Perennials for Shade

Saruma henryi May 2009

Trillium luteum May 2009

 Primula elatior March 2010

Heuchera americana 'Green Spice' April 2010

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' 0609

Corydalis cava March 2010

 Hacquetia epipactis March 2010

Here is a list of shade perennials for gardens in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest & USDA Zone 8.  They provide a range of color, height & texture. Bloom starts early in spring & lasts until summer.  But shade perennials are often prized for their beautiful foliage, instead of their flowers. You will need to keep snails & slugs from disfiguring the large leaves of some of these perennials. Gather them in a paper bag & toss it into the yard waste bin.  A perennial is any plant, not woody, that lives for at least a few years, although some are short-lived.  Perennials include bulbs, ferns & grasses.  Perennial groundcovers are listed in Groundcovers for Shade. Don't allow shade perennials to dry out completely in summer.  Some of these tolerate some dryness, as noted. But most prefer a moist environment.  If your garden is dry, read Dry Shade. Many of these perennials are common in gardens.  But it may take dedicated searching to find sources for all of them.  Although this list is not complete, it is fairly broad.  A single common name is noted when the plant has a common name.  While some have several common names, others have none at all.  Latin names will be most useful to you in finding uncommon plants.  An excellent reference book for perennials is Perennials: The Definite Reference With Over 2,500 Photographs by Roger Phillips & Martyn Rix.

Aconitum (Monkshood): many species
Actaea pachypoda (Doll's Eyes) Actaea rubra (Red Baneberry): berries highly poisonous
Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern)
Alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle): for part shade, tolerates dryness
Anemone x hybrida (Japanese Anemone): tolerates dryness, spreads widely by stolons, Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone) Anemone sylvestris (Wood Anemone): spreads widely by stolons
Aruncus aethusifolius, Aruncus dioicus, Aruncus 'Horatio' (Goatsbeard): tolerates some dryness
Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern)
Achlys triphylla (Vanilla Leaf): tolerates some dryness
Astilbe (Ostrich Plume): several species & cultivars
Bergenia (Elephant Ears)
Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern): tolerates some dryness
Cimicifuga (Bugbane)
Clintonia uniflora (Queen's Cup): & other species
Darmera peltata (Indian Rhubarb)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's Breeches) Dicentra eximia (Fringed Bleeding Heart) Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart, renamed Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
Diphylleia cymosa (Umbrella Leaf)
Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove): short-lived, but returns from seed
Doronicum (Leopard's Bane): several species for part shade
Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern): tolerates some dryness
Eomecon chionantha (Snow Poppy)
Epimedium (Bishop’s Hat): many species
Erythronium dens-canis (Dog-tooth Violet) Erythronium oregonum (Fawn Lily)
Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)
Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' (Cranesbill) Geranium phaeum (Mourning Widow)
Glaucidium palmatum (Japanese Wood Poppy)
Hacquetia epipactis (Hacquetia): tolerates some dryness
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (Japanese Forest Grass): & other cultivars
Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican Hellebore): part shade, Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten Rose) Helleborus lividus, Helleborus x sternii (H argutifolius x H lividus): all tolerate dryness
Hepatica americana (Liverwort)
Hosta (Plantain Lily): many species & cultivars
Jeffersonia diphylla (Twinleaf): tolerates some dryness
Kirengeshoma palmata (Yellow Wax Bells)
Ligularia (Leopard Plant): many species
Liriope muscari (Lily Turf): tolerates dryness
Luzula sylvatica (Wood Rush)
Lysichiton americanus (Skunk Cabbage): for wet places
Meconopsis betonicifolia (Blue Himalayan Poppy): & other species
Milium effusum 'Aureum' (Golden Wood Millet)
Petasites japonicus, Petasites palmatus (Coltsfoot): spreads widely by rhizomes
Polygonatum odoratum (Solomon’s Seal): & other species
Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern): tolerates dryness, Polystichum polyblepharum (Tassel Fern) Polystichum setiferum (Soft Shield Fern)
Primula (Primrose): many species & cultivars
Pulmonaria (Lungwort): many cultivars
Rodgersia podophylla (Rodgersia): & other species
Saruma henryi (Saruma)
Smilacina racemosa (False Solomon’s Seal): tolerates some dryness
Tellima grandiflora (Fringecup): tolerates some dryness
Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Meadow Rue): for light shade
Tiarella wherryi (Foam Flower)
Tolmiea menziesii (Piggyback Plant)
Tricyrtis (Toad Lily): several species & cultivars
Triosteum pinnatifidum (White Feverwort): tolerates some dryness
Trillium (Wake Robin, Toad Shade): many species
Uvularia grandiflora (Merry Bells)
Viola sempervirens (Pioneer Violet)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Peony Shade Garden (Cascadia Garden)

Erythronium dens-canis & Hepatica americana February 2010

Asarum caudatum February 2010

Heuchera americana 'Bronze Beacon'

Paeonia suffruticosa 'Yoshinogawa' May 2009

The best part of the Cascadia Garden began with a pink single Paeonia suffruticosa in 1997. Enchanted by the huge pink flowers, I added 4 more between 2001 & 2006. By the spring of 2007 there was enough shade to plant a variety of woodland perennials. After a colorful display of red & orange fall foliage, evergreen & early-blooming perennials are clearly visible beneath the Paeonia suffruticosa until late spring.  Erythronium, Hepatica, Heuchera & Trillium are my favorite plants that hug the ground.

Plant List
Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Zi Er Giao’ (see photo above)

Aruncus aesthusifolius (Dwarf Goat’s Beard)
Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese Painted Fern)
Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern)
Dicentra formosa (Bleeding Heart)
Erythronium dens-canis (Dog Tooth Violet)
Geranium phaeum (Mourning Widow)
Hakonechloa macra ‘Albo Striata’ (Japanese Forest Grass)
Hepatica americana (Liverwort)
Polystichum munitum (Sword Fern)
Trillium chloropetalum (Giant Trillium)
Trillium cuneatum (Bloody Butcher)
Trillium luteum (Yellow Toadshade)
Trillium ovatum (Western Wake Robin)
Trillium sessile (Toadshade)

Asarum caudatum (Wild Ginger)
Fragaria vesca (Woodland Strawberry)
Maianthemum dilatatum (False Lily of the Valley)
Oxalis oregana (Redwood Sorrel)

The Development of the Cascadia Garden

Eucomis Circle August 2008

A slender form of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana March 2009 

 Mt Rainier at dawn from the Cascadia Garden January 2010

The Cascadia Garden began in 1920. Betula pendula, Camellia japonica, Erica carnea, Pieris japonica, Hybrid Tea Roses, Weigela coraeensis, Aucuba japonica, Rhododendron ‘Pink Pearl’ & Skimmia japonica were planted during the 1st 40 years.  Those plants were here when I moved to the property with my parents in 1961, at the age of 2 years.

From 1961 to 1992, the Cascadia Garden was developed mainly by my father. Native plants were transferred from his parents' property on Phantom Lake in the City of Bellevue. Chief among them were Acer circinatum, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Gaultheria shallon, Mahonia aquifolium & nervosa, Polystichum munitum & forest perennials Achlys triphylla, Dicentra formosa, Maianthemum dilatatum & Oxalis oregana.  In 1970 Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ was planted. Many hybrid Rhododendron were added during the 1980s. Most of the original garden plants were removed with the notable exceptions of the large & gnarled Pieris japonica & the vigorous Weigela coraeensis. Rhododendron 'Pink Pearl' was relocated. 

After I returned to the property in 1992, development of the garden increased dramatically. A wide array of plants was added. Many smaller gardens were made. A perennial border was begun in 1993 which gradually became a mixed border of blue & yellow, called the Entry Border.

In 1994 the lawn was replaced with a small vegetable garden, a large perennial garden, a rock garden & a xeric garden.  5 Paeonia suffruticosa were planted in the perennial garden. Within 5 years they had grown enough to shelter a garden of woodland perennials beneath. The Peony Shade Garden underplanting was begun in 2003. A slender, pendulous form of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana  had seeded in from nearby gardens. Some were transplanted to better sites. The Bosque was gradually created in the southwest corner of the garden using Acer circinatum, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Sorbus gonggashanica & Thuja plicata.

In 2004 the xeric garden became the Stony Slope Xeric Garden. The area was retained with low stone walls. Large & small stones were scattered throughout. The ground & path were covered in gravel. Plants from dry, stony, mountainous sites in western North America, western & central Asia were planted.

The rock garden was transformed into the 7-foot-wide Privacy Screen along the northern property line. 2 small gardens were created in front: the Eucomis Circle & the West Coast Perennial Garden.