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Monday, November 1, 2010

Shade-loving shrubs

I am trying to choose the best shrub to be the centerpiece of my flower bed #3.... the one that is almost entirely under the shade of the big oak tree....

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/trees-shrubs/shade-loving-shrubs.htm

"Carolina allspice is another shade-loving shrub that not only adds interest with its reddish-purple flowers, but this shrub also emits a pleasant spicy aroma. Prefers partial to full sun.
Downsides: comments say it spreads like crazy, and it can grow up to 25' high, I can't have that in the yard of my size...



Also worthy in the shade garden is the fragrant honeysuckle shrub (Жимолость). While you may find numerous varieties to choose from, the climbing variety will add height when trained on a trellis or similar structure. Even if you opt for the more shrubby variety, this shade lover should be placed close by, where its fragrance can be better appreciated.



Notes: http://davesgarden.com/ says that it needs full sun.


If fragrance is what you’re after than gardenias are definitely for you, provided that you reside in a warmer climate that is. Gardenias thrive in light shade and moist soil. They are evergreen, which will provide year-round interest, but it’s their intensely fragrant, white flowers that really steal the show.

Notes: I surely love the look of this plant, and it is evergreen, but I don't think it will work for Texas, unless I plant it into a container and try to water it more frequently than the rest of the garden.



Viburnum shrubs not only provide attractive, fragrant blooms but are also tolerant of shade. These sweet-smelling, shade-loving shrubs can make excellent understory plantings as well.

Notes: Dave's Garden says is can grow in partial shade, while mine is almost a full shade... And it is a little bushier than I would like, my flower bed is not that large... 



A rather large shrub but highly fragrant and exceptional for shade, is the Witch hazel. This shade lover produces lovely yellow flowers in spring.

Notes: it blooms after the first frost, and makes a nice presentation. I am thinking about having it for my flower bed #2. Dave's Garden said it likes sun to partial shade. That is closer to the conditions on my flower bed #2. 



Goat’s beard is an easy-growing shrub and makes a wonderful choice for areas of the garden with partial shade. These shrubs are especially suited to woodland gardens, opening up dark areas with their white blooms."

Notes: I don't care much for the look of this shrub, and it is a bit too bushy for my flower bed, so I think this one I can scratch out.


Rhododendrons and azaleas are probably some of the most popular and best loved of the shade shrubs. They not only thrive in shade but also seem to harmonize with it. These shade-loving shrubs are loved for their colorful blooms and interesting, evergreen foliage. They can be used as hedges, foundation plantings, or alone as specimen plants.

Notes: Rhododendrons are apparently poisonous for pets and humans, so although I really like the look of this plant, I don't think it would be safe to have in the yard... Apparently, same for azaleas... too bad.






One of the finest choices for shady sites is the camellia. These evergreen shade lovers bloom in later winter or early spring in shades of red, pink, white, or bicolor."

Notes: Requires consistently moist soil - not possible in my yard. I wonder if I could plant it in a very large container, along with gardenias... 







Fragrant Orange Tea Olive


Click for a larger view of Fragrant Orange Tea Olive...



 A unique variety of osmanthus that produces an abundance of fragrant, bright orange flowers in Fall. Forms a large evergreen shrub or small tree. In the fall, one shrub will fill the backyard with a powerful and exquisite scent of perfume. Can grow to 20' tall however is usually seen at 8 to 12' in landscapes. Plant near windows and outdoor living areas where the fragrance can be enjoyed. Easy to grow in most any well-drained soil, in sun to partial shade.

Notes:  Evergreen; Average Water Needs; Acidic soil, Blooms several times a year; blooms in the winter;
I think I will have two of those planted on the flower bed #2 to form a hedge.... 

Loropetalum 'Purple Diamond'

 

Purple Diamond' Loropetalum boasts some of the most intense purple foliage color of any plant on the market. Vibrant pink, witchhazel-like, fringy blooms are heavy in Spring, appear occasionally in Summer and again in Fall, providing a stunning contrast with the purple foliage. An easy to grow, low maintenance shrub useful as a hedge, accent, in small groups, or in mass in landscape beds and foundation plantings. 



Nandina 'Firepower'

 

Nandina 'Firepower' features brilliant, fire-red foliage during Winter. A dwarf, compact selection with a globose form to 3' tall and 2 to 2.5' wide. This nandina must have well-drained soils and is best planted in raised beds. Useful in foundation plantings or landscape beds as a border, under low windows, in small groups or mass plantings, or as an accent. Low maintenance and easy to grow so long as the soil is very well-drained. Nandinas do not like wet feet! Best color in full to mostly sun, however tolerates a good deal of shade. 

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