We've got a place in the garden thats shaded and overhung by doug firs. I've been trying to think of a good plant compliment for it. The usual drought tolerant stuff doesn't seem to apply. It's not the desert! This is still the pacific northwest. But then it's not wet enough for ferns and such.
I'm thinking maybe I can have winter squash planted where there's a little more moisture and then let it trail through that area. This could be a mulch that holds moisture and provides some food. And then maybe I can get some wetter shade plants going.
Its not (edible that I know of) but "coral bells" do ok in shade (around here anyways). They are always listed as full sun/partial shade but I planted them in part sun and they burned up and were much happier under trees and on the north side of buidings. My MIL has them in full shade under oaks and they look beautiful. They are fairly tolerant of dry conditions also.
Is it deep shade, like right next to the tree that you are looking for, or is it just a shadowed area during part of the day? The only thing I can think of that will grow in deep, deep shade is ivy. Most greens can tolerate light or dappled shade.
"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
posted 10 years ago
sweet! there's some great edible stuff in that list: campanulas, schisandra berry, oregon grape (and probably many native plants). What I've got to remember is that I can change the 'dry' part of the site once more plants get in there to establish some cover. And coincidentally, the lambsquarter already grows great there, so I can just expand on that theme.
It's not deep shade because it's open to all but the south side. But to the south, and from above, it just never gets sun.
We were thinking about blueberries because of the high acidity. But where they are now they don't get enough sun, so we don't want to move them into another such situation. I need to run out morning and evening and see how much 'side light' the place gets when the sun isn't south, but west or east.
I wonder how many light hours blueberries need. But Paul! they like it moist moist moist.
I was also thinking maybe garlic, because it's actually better to not water when it's bulbing up. And even though the place is dry, I can't picture that we'd need to irrigate somewhere during the winter around here, when the garlic would like it. But again, the sunlight question, and if acidity is a little wierd for garlic. Of course I could add lime, but I'd rather work with the natural acidity from the doug firs then try to battle against it every year.
Maybe it would be good to prune the lower branches and let a bit more light in. That makes for better lumber from the tree too. And then you could use that wood for a bit of mulch which would help some with the moisture factor.
Douglas fir tend to suck all the moisture right out of the soil. I am assuming that it expires it into the air. Even with all the rain we get, my chickens can often find a spot to dust bathe in winter under them.
If you find something that really works, please post.
posted 9 years ago
I also found in the book 'Right Plant, Right Place' that for dry shade the Campanula family does well. Great! All campanulas are edible!!
I'll get a bunch of them going (hopefully) this winter, and I like Dave's suggestion about the evergreen hucks. May try some ferns too. I'll let you know how it works out