The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

June 22, 2013

Shady spots fun places for gardens

Western Oklahoma is not known for shady landscape. We treasure those shady spots under the trees planted in years past and make plans to plant new ones near the spot of that tree we love so much, but years have taken its toll.

For those few shady places it is a challenge, but quite fun, to design and plant gardens. If you have tried to plant shade grass, such as tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass combinations, and have repeatedly failed in the shade over a three-year period even with the best of management, it is time to consider an alternative shaded landscape strategy that may include shade-tolerant ground covers and ornamentals.

This article will not include shady turfgrass, but information is available on the website at: http://osufacts.oksta tel.edu, especially Fact Sheet HLA-6608.

Oklahoma Proven shade plants include: helleborus (lenten rose), athyrium nipponicum (Japanese painted fern), tricyrtis hirta (toad lily), hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea).

The lenten rose is a favorite. It belongs to a genus of mostly evergreen herbaceous plants that are prized for their ability to flower in late-winter. You will see the flower stalks rise out of the leaf litter to display flowers that range in color from green to white, yellow and even purple.

Lenten rose are tough plants requiring little care but will give you many months of enjoyment year after year.

The Japanese painted fern is a beautiful, easy-to-grow, low-maintenance, dwarf fern and one of the showiest ferns for shade gardens. Emerging fronds have burgundy stems with metallic gray and a reddish/bluish blush.

Clumps can grow up to two feet wide and need to be divided in early spring every three to four years. This fern provides a nice contrast to shade loving perennials, such as hosta, astilbe and coral bells.

The toad lily has a unique flower. These pale lilac flowers with dark purple spots that appear on upright arching stems will appear in late-summer and early fall when other plants are beginning to fade. This is a great shade flower.

The oakleaf hydrangea produces beautiful creamy white, cone-shaped flowers in early summer. It can grow 6-8 feet high and broad and has year-round interest. The oak-shaped leaves turn purple and red in the fall.

In winter, the exfoliating bark is exposed. The cinnamon-colored bud will open as flowers in spring and early summer.

Variegated is the word for many shade plants, and hosta are among these varieties. The hosta combines well with hardy fern, colorful heuchera, hydrangea, hellebores and shade groundcover. Heuchera Rave On is the heaviest blooming coral bell ever and will provide months of blooms.

This hardy shade plant has highly silver foliage in spring that is then topped with dozens of flower spikes bearing dark pink blooms for weeks. It is great for cut flower arrangements since the flowers last seven to 12 days.

Plan your shade garden today and it will be your favorite place during those hot summer days ahead.

Mitchell is a member of Garfield County Master Gardeners.

1
Text Only
Ag
  • Trent Milacek web.jpg Despite poor harvest, wheat price falls

    I grew up and currently reside on our family farm southwest of Waukomis.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg Gardeners share their favorites

    Annuals only last one season, but they are important because of the great variety of flowers that keep the garden colorful throughout the summer.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conservation workshop set

    The workshop will be 6 p.m. at the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center, 316 E. Oxford.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jeff Bedwell Consider safety of forage beforehand

    Drought conditions of the past three to four years and in particular the past eight months had hay/forage inventories at critically low levels. The most recent period ranked as the third-driest period in recorded history. Not unlike the farmers and ranchers of other times of drought, ag producers now have been very resourceful to not only replace hay supplies that have dwindled but also add much-needed revenue to farm income.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Right to Farm web 1.jpg Ag industry seeks right to farm

    The emerging battle could have lasting repercussions for the nation’s food supply and for the millions of people worldwide who depend on U.S. agricultural exports. It’s also possible the right-to-farm idea could sputter as a merely symbolic gesture that carries little practical effect beyond driving up voter turnout in local elections.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • farm - Burlington FFA web.jpg Burlington students attend camp

    More than 1,600 FFA members from 289 Oklahoma FFA chapters attended one of four three and one-half day sessions from June 29-July 12.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Oklahoma's Dirty Dozen poster 150dpi_W.jpg Poster targets invasive plants

    They all have more than four letters, but they are certainly bad words in the state of Oklahoma.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Simple steps can prevent fungus infection

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Help plants survive the summer heat

    The July hot weather has arrived, and Oklahoma State University has some suggestions for helping with our gardening needs this month.

    July 12, 2014

  • farm - 4-H_W_W.jpg State 4-H honors volunteers

    A group of dedicated parents and volunteers with Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development Program gathered recently in Stillwater for learning, sharing of ideas and recognition of dedication to Oklahoma’s youth.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Facebook