Rivercities Garden Club

Meeting 03/6/00

Shade Gardening - Dr. Severn Doughty


Dr. Severn Doughty Ph. D. of the LSU Extension Service presented a well received program about creating a garden in the shade. Often, when makeing a garden, there are areas under trees or shaded by walls which are poorly lit. Here, most plants grow marginally and frequently don't bloom. Dr. Dought offered several options to plant these areas.

Grasses such as centepede and St. Augustine may not grow. Consider cutting the branches from the trees to 20 feet above the ground to allow more light to the ground.

Alternately one can create a shade garden. Determine the shade line beyond which grass and other plants don't seem to grow, and mark this line with spray paint. This line represents the threshold where there is insufficient light to support photosynthesis. Ground cover such as monkey grass, Asian jasmine, English ivy, Algerian ivy, lriope, or ajuga can be used.

Larger plants such as holly leaf fern, asparagus fern, leather leaf and deciduous ferns can break up the flat surface into interesting patterns. Shrubs such as fatsia, aucuba, camellias, Japanese yew, dwarf Buford holly are available.

Color can be added to the shade garden. White caladiums are particularly good. Other colorful foliage and flowering plants are zebra plant, Pachystachys, Jacobina, and bromeliads. Colored gravel can also be used for color particularly in areas where there is practically no light.

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