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Planting the Dry Shade Garden

by Timber Press on July 27, 2011

in Gardening

Planting the Dry Shade Garden by Graham Rice will be available in a few weeks, and I’m excited to share some photos from the book with you! Dry shade is a problem that most gardeners have, and rather than leaving it empty, why not fill it with greenery?

Dry shade is that space under a tree, deck, or overhang where nothing grows. There’s no sunshine, and no moisture. It’s a space that strikes fear in the heart of the most intrepid gardener. Fortunately, by choosing the right plants, it’s possible to turn that dead space into a lush landscape.

Planting the Dry Shade Garden features more than 130 plants that are best able to cope with reduced light and moisture levels. Plants include the bright red flowers of Heuchera ‘Firefly’, the silver foliage of Pulmonaria ‘Moonshine’, and the large oval leaves of Hosta ‘Regal Splendor’ — an entire palette to help transform challenging spaces into rich, rewarding gardens.

In addition to the plant profiles, the text also shows gardeners how to prune selectively, how to amend soil to increase its moisture retention, and how to transform challenging spaces.

Here are some examples of recommendations for dry shade areas that can be found in the book:

Shade plants like ferns and hostas often thrive in planting areas shaded by buildings, walls, or fences.

This hybrid yew will provide dependable foliage.

In late summer, Arum italicum develops crowded heads of bright orange-red fruits.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan in the Pink Hat July 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

There had better be more plants that Pulmonaria, Hostas, and Heuchera. We know about those. I’ve even heard of the Arum. And no Mahonia, either. Done it. I’m wanting and expecting more unusual offerings from Mr. Rice. So bring it!

2 Graham Rice July 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Fact is, Susan, so many people believe that dry shade is impossible that they think it’s the perfect place for the shed. No, there are plenty of good plants to grow there. And while you may know about pulmonarias, hostas, and heuchera many gardeners don’t. And when it comes to hardy geraniums, for example, some are ideal – but some are useless.

BTW, take a look at the book’s very own website at http://DryShadeGarden.com

3 Ginger AaronsGarrison August 3, 2011 at 9:17 am

Great article..I have two spots that I wouldn’t have considered those plants for!

Thank you,

4 Jacqueline Rothschuh August 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

I have quite a bit of dry shade underneath some mature pine trees in my front yard. Thanks for the article.

5 lisa meddin August 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Just wrote a shade garden post on my blog…dry shade is challenging so looking forward to reading…or winning your book!

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