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dark side of the house

 
Posts: 233
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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For those of you in non-equatorial regions, what use have you managed to make of the shady side of the house (north in the northern hemisphere, south in the southern)?

So far we use it primarily as a utility access point - that's where the door to the basement is, and the exhaust from the heating and hot water systems.  We might put a tool shed there.  Otherwise I'm struggling - not much beyond ferns will grown on that side, so maybe ostrich ferns (for fiddleheads) are our best bet.  Does hot compost work in the dark?
 
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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shiitake logs! and it's a nice place for potted cuttings that need some shaded shelter to begin with....at our last house I also had a nice bed of ginseng on the north side against the rock foundation.
 
gardener
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Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Hot compost works in the dark as it is the thermophilic bacteria and not sun exposure that make it hot.  Keep the compost away from your house if your house is wood! <- just sayin'  

Hostas grow in the shade.  Edible shoots from what I've heard.  Might be a good place for a summer greens (which tend to bolt in full sun in mid summer).

A permanent ladder to your roof?  Fire escape?  

Insulated above ground or below grade root celler?

Cold koi pond?

Meditation space? Chill Zone?  
 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 233
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:
A permanent ladder to your roof?  Fire escape?  

Insulated above ground or below grade root celler?

Cold koi pond?



We've got maybe 8-10' of space to work with, and the soil is already wetter than I'd like, sot he pond is out, but the fire escape is a good idea, thanks!
 
pollinator
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Location: Derbyshire, UK
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The dark bit of my yard is a 3m wide yard hemmed in my brick walls or fencing, it never gets any actual sunlight. I have log storage there (close to the back door), some lumber storage, the bins are stored here too, as well as a hot-compost bin. And I grow alpine strawberries, ferns, hostas and spring bulbs (just to brighten the place up a bit!) in pots. High up on the wall where it gets better light I grow tomatoes and herbs in hanging baskets- they're on pulleys so they go quite high up the house (they still don't get direct sunlight), you can lower them down to water them and harvest.
 
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I grow ginger on the east side of the house.  It absolutely thrives over there.  It gets a bit of morning sun, but is in the shade for the majority of the day.

When life gives you shade, made ginger aid.  Yeah . . . I know . . . that was goofy.

On the north side (my front yard) we've grown a big Japanese maple that loves the cool shade.  It gets an hour or two of sun in the heart of the summer, but the rest of the time, it is content to enjoy whatever defused light makes it was into it's canopy.
 
pollinator
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Location: Akron, Ohio
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:Hostas grow in the shade.  Edible shoots from what I've heard.



Can confirm edibility of hosta shoots firsthand. They're rather bland and "green"-tasting with a hint of nuttiness. I imagine they'd be delicious in something like a stir-fry.
 
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