Monday, February 20, 2006


What will we do with the shade garden? It doesn't have much sun and it is dry and crowded with tree roots. Let alone that dang poison ivy that KL and probably others keep pulling out. We've put down some hostas to vary the liriope. And there is some ajuga that was planted to one side. The lilac that was suffering behind the bench has been moved, and there is a tree peony and spring bulbs including Angelique tulips. What should replace the lilacs, if anything? Suggestions include:

Bugbane (Cimicifuga--now known as Actae)
Variegated ground covers.
Other suggestions for dry shady spots

At the meeting, we voted for a camellia, which will offer shade and seasonal variety. However, they can be chancy to grow in this climate. It is a risk. But we saw one in bloom on Biltmore Road, late January.

JF prefers cimicifuga and suggests that water-retaining crystals would compensate for the dryness behind the tree.

Other Ground Covers
We heard from a foreign correspondent who suggested
“ I do know the spot you are working on - I have noticed it when visiting …in DC. People are doing similar things in open spaces in London. Under the tree you might consider: variegated vinca, variegated pachysandra or even variegated ivy. But I understand you are under snow just now! Best, RM”

More information on cold-hardy camelias from

camelliaThe Camellia Society of the Potomac Valley Annual Camellia Flower Show and Plant Sale is at the Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton, MD on
Saturday, March 11 (10:00 AM to 5:00 PM) and Sunday, March 12 (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

Dry Shade Garden Resources


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