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Perennial ground cover to underplant shady tree.

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Jack Sparrow, May 30, 2018.

  1. Jack Sparrow

    Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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    Not long ago I planted a hardy geranium under a tree.

    20180530_090142.jpg

    It has occurred to me since (doesn't it always :wallbanging:) that a blue would probably not "light up" that dark corner. In hindsight I would have preferred the pink one but hey, its' too late now.

    While I've been driving around I have noticed a lot of gardens have tiny white flowers underneath shrubs and falling over low walls. I would like somethng like that at the edge of the slabs. Something white or pink that will flower throughout the summer. Once the geranium has filled out, I would still like this other plant to spill out underneath and create some light. It doesn't have to be evergreen as the snowdrops and aconites will take over in the winter.

    Any thought would be appreciated.

    G.

    Ps I apologise for the blurred photo. It was raining so it was taken very quickly.
     
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    • HarryS

      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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      Ajuga reptans 'Alba' , is very good for ground cover under trees in shady spots.

      AJUG-V63419-A_h.jpg
       
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      • Clare G

        Clare G Super Gardener

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        Rubus tricolor - I put three plants of this in last autumn in my hard-to-get-anything-to-grow spot under the holly tree. It's establishing really well, certainly better than anything I'd tried there before. Has handsome evergreen leaves, white flowers (not here yet) and red fruits. Rubus tricolor | Chinese bramble/RHS Gardening
         
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        • Mike77

          Mike77 Gardener

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          There are lots of different varieties of thyme that tolerate some shade. I have attached a picture of one of mine which if i remember correctly is broadleaf thyme and is thriving quite well under a tree of mine in a fairly neglected area. It is green all year round. You would want the low growing spreading varieties. The bonus is it is great for cooking with and the bees love it.
           

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          • Selleri

            Selleri Gardener

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            Vinca minor Alba could be nice for that area. Or if you would like some brightness around the year, there are beautiful variegated forms. Vincas are evergreen and will grow anywhere. :)
             
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            • KFF

              KFF Total Gardener

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              Try looking at Galium Odorata ( Woodruff ). Small ground cover with bright green leaves and scented flowers all summer.
               
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              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Gary, check out brunnera Dawsons White. It does need white there, I think, to add light and lushness. Geranium Combland White is brilliant for such a spot too and it combines your pink remit too; pink veining in white flowers. :)
                 
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                • HarryS

                  HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                  Lots of good ideas above for a spot I have - may try one or two :blue thumb:
                   
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                  • Jack Sparrow

                    Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                    A thought has just occured to me, as they do. I may already have something that will fulfil my needs. I have very healthy lamium Beacon Silver growing at the front of the house. I intend to split it up and spread it out in the summer. I could always borrow a piece of that. Those silvery leaves should show up nicely there. Being evergreen though, it would impede all the snowdrops and aconites that are already planted there.

                    G.

                    Ps it's a shame I dont have any up to date photos of the lamium. Maybe if I remember I will take one tomorrow. For reference, before it died back, the geranium looked like this:
                    20180730_150930.jpg
                    I am looking forward to another increase in growth next year.

                    :snorky:
                    :dbgrtmb:
                     
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                    • Clare G

                      Clare G Super Gardener

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                      I should think the lamium would do well Gary - I planted that one and a couple of others in the shade of my holly tree in the autumn and all are establishing nicely and beginning to spread. (It's stayed pretty mild so far this winter, of course.)
                       
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                      • silu

                        silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                        Have a look at Brunner Jack frost. The flowers are blue so not what you were looking for but the leaves are amazing and will lighten the area all season. I grow lots of it in deep shade and it doesn't mind in the slightest. Self seeds in an agreeable amount ie not too much. The self seeds still have the variegation but not as good as the parent plant usually.
                        jack frost.jpg
                         
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                        • Fern4

                          Fern4 Total Gardener

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                          Soil beneath trees tends to be on the dry side so what about Tiarella. There's Tiarella "Running Tiger" which has white flowers and flowers from May to August and can be grown in partial to full shade.

                          [​IMG]
                           
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