Finding plants that thrive in the shade, and look good at the same time, can be difficult but not impossible. Here’s a colorful, lush shade border in Connecticut (zone 6). What’s your favorite plant, or plant combination, for shade?
Sequence of bloom, planting for a succession of flowers in your garden, seems like a pretty simple and straightforward concept, but most gardeners can tell you it’s much more difficult than it seems. Best Laid Plans Sometimes Mother Nature gets … Continue reading
I’m always looking for two types of plants to add to my Connecticut garden – native plants and plants that I can use as lawn alternatives. Here’s one plant that fulfills both objectives, Comptonia peregrina. The Basics Botanical Name: Comptonia … Continue reading
You Can Grow That! is a celebration of gardens and plants and the joy they bring to our lives. My contribution this month is Sedum ternatum ‘Larinem Park‘…yes, a sedum that actually grows in the shade!
A Woodland Sedum?
I love groundcover sedums but I can’t don’t grow many in my Connecticut garden since I don’t really have many areas with the hot, dry, lean soil they thrive in. I’ve tried a few in the past, Dragon’s blood sedum and Angelina sedum, but they don’t really seem to flourish.
So I was thrilled to learn about a native groundcover sedum for shade, one that prefers the woodland conditions of my garden – Sedum ternatum ‘Larinem Park’.
Getting to Know Larinem Park sedum
◊ Native to the eastern US, Sedum ternatum can be found growing in full sun to full shade and in moist to dry soil. Talk about adaptable.
◊ Only about 6″ tall, Larinem Park spreads to about 18″ wide and is covered with tiny white flowers in the spring. It’s a great nectar source for early pollinators, like bees and butterflies.
◊ The fleshy leaves of this woodland sedum grow in whorls of three around the stems, hence its common name, whorled sedum.
◊ Larinem Park is considered deer and rabbit resistant and is hardy in zones 3 – 9.
◊ Use it as a groundcover around woodland trees and shrubs, as a lawn alternative for shady, dry sites or to edge a path or walkway.
Before you rush off to check out the other You Can Grow That! posts, please take a minute to share what your favorite ground cover for shady sites is.
It can be difficult to find flowering groundcovers for deep shade. In my Connecticut garden (zone 6b), I’ve found one of the easiest to grow groundcovers for shade is Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum).
If you’ve got room in your garden for a low-maintenance shade lovers, here are a few things you should know about sweet woodruff:
◊ Lacy white flowers cover the shiny green foliage in May
◊ Grows to about 10″ x 18″
◊ Thrives in partial to deep shade
◊ Tolerates all but the driest of soils. If the soil is too dry, or your planting site gets too much sun, sweet woodruff may go dormant for a while. It will come back once the conditions are more to its liking.
◊ Quickly spreads by both running roots and self-seeding to form a tight mass of delicate green leaves that crowd out weeds. If sweet woodruff becomes to prolific, it can be maintained by mowing it.
◊ Hardy from zones 4 – 8
◊ You won’t find Galium odoratum on many deer-resistant plants lists but the deer don’t seem to bother it in my garden.
Uses for Sweet Woodruff
Both the leaves and flowers are highly fragrant – hence its common name, sweet woodruff. The leaves become even more fragrant when dried so they are a good choice for homemade sachets. The leaves are also used to flavor May wine , a punch used to celebrate May Day.
Use sweet woodruff as a groundcover in woodland setting planted under dogwoods and other spring-flowering trees and shrubs or any other shady spot were you need a groundcover to spread and naturalize.
Can you smell it? It’s almost spring. Soon our gardens, whether in Connecticut, Colorado or somewhere in between, will be bursting into life. The problem with many gardens I see as a landscape designer is that they are full of … Continue reading
It was a snowy day here in Stamford, CT so most people stayed inside and took it easy. But the bird feeder was like Grand Central Station all day long.
By the way, this is the view of my wildlife-friendly garden from my office window…it’s a wonder I get any work done at all.
Don’t you love the way the birds are ‘stacked’ in the branches of the Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (Corylus avellana ’Contorta’) just waiting their turns to get something to eat?
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, I took it through the window.
Over on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens , I published a post about six great plants, some are annuals and some are perennials in my Connecticut garden (zone 6), for attracting beneficial insects to your garden.
Creating more habitat for birds, butterflies and bees is really easy. You can even combine these plants and create your very own habitat planter.
Drum Roll Please…
What exactly are the 6 plants for attracting beneficial insects to your garden? Here’s a quick peek…
Visit Native Plans & Wildlife Gardens to find out about the 6 plants for attracting beneficial insects to your garden and how to best use them in your garden.