Monday, April 19, 2010

Bushes and Flowers oh my!

Two weeks ago my dad came over with his truck and chain and we ripped out the half dead bushes and trees that were in my front yard. Now I've got a giant eyesore of a gas meter and dirt pile to deal with.  I am completely a novice at garden things.

Ugly gas meter to the left

I've got a giant maple tree in the front yard that provides copious amounts of shade (and leaves and seeds).  Plus I've tended to kill most things I've undertaken growing in the past (goodbye jade plant, sorry lucky bamboo).  So for me, the important considerations for choosing greenery is for something that will thrive in the shade, will give me some green and possibly some color, and something that will camouflage the gas meter. 

I've had suggestions for: astilbe, hydrangeas, and hostas.

I know hostas are a low lying plant that does well in shade - which will be great, but not for camouflaging the gas meter. Maybe hostas in the front? Man, who knew there were so many kinds of hostas?!

I think hydrangeas are so beautiful - and I heard that they're fairly hearty.  It'd be nice to add color somehow.

It looks like astilbe will also do well in the shade - and it provides lots of color and height.

So...what say you interweb? Have I missed out on a plant/shrub/flower that will do well in shade and is of a hearty sort?

PS - thanks Patty and Joe for the seed and peat moss suggestion...I think I might try it out for the patchy areas. :)


  1. from Rita B: I forgot about ferns, which are all about shade. Ferns spread via rhizomes so (pro) they can cover a lot of ground when they are more mature but (con) they can spread to places you might not want them to go. Also, you'll probably have to amend the soil. But, they can grow rather tall, enough to cover the water meter (that's where my water meter is, btw, and I have a little bit of fern cover there. I am also trying to grow bleeding heart in front of the meter--it will take a while but bleeding heart can grow somewhat tall and bushy if given room.

  2. I have a beautiful, tall bleeding heart but it dies out by mid June.
    I mainly have lily of the valley, hosta and astilbe in my shade and have one Endless Summer Hydrangea. I add in some impatiens for color.
    Bachman's and especially Gertens are fun places to browse and ask questions.

  3. Joseph's Grandma PatApril 23, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Hi Deb, From our experiences and others, hostas are great for spreading, and they are hard to kill. Before we knew what they were in our old house, Joe used to run them over with a lawnmower to get rid of them, and they would come back stronger than ever. Now we realize you actually buy them in a store and they are not weeds... great for in the front of bigger stuff and can be split. I like things that stay green all year around, that way winter doesn't look so stark. A neigbor up the street (not us, we don't plan very well) has their yard so that things are always blooming, no matter the season, minus winter of course, different stuff depending on the time of year and it looks so nice when we drive by. Evergreenery stuff is nice for year round and perrenials are the flowers that keep on giving. For "get rid of every year annuals", I love double impatients, sometimes hard to find, looks like little roses, as well as the usual annuals. We have had good luck with our beech tree, made the mistake of buying trees for the pretty blossoms (magnolia) and the actual blossoms only last a few days. We've killed plenty of stuff over the years, trees, holly which couldn't be killed supposedly etd. Although the deer helped. We were told they wouldn't touch holly, but they loved ours, as well as rhodys and azeleas...Day lillies are nice close to the house and they keep spreading and flowering... Phlox are nice ground covers too and they spread. As you can see, we are into less work, more "let it spread and come up every year on its own" stuff nowadays. Your house is so cute, love all the colors.. Great to not be afraid to use color. Your blog is so interesting, brings back memories... Wow, I guess I am the old fogie here, hahaha...But love following your house adventures.