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Native Plants for the Shade

Don’t let a little shade stop you from going native.  A look at nearby shady natural areas and many of the new garden catalogues will provide lots of ideas. 

Understory trees like Amelanchier also known as serviceberry or Juneberry, pagoda dogwood, redbuds, ironwood (Ostrya) and musclewood (Carpinus) provide seasonal interest.

Shrubs like viburnum, hydrangea and Diervilla add color with flowers and fruit.  Cool Splash is a cultivar of the native Diervilla that brightens up the shade with its white variegated leaves.

And dress up the ground level with a nice mix of perennials.  Start with early spring wildflowers like trillium and mayapple and follow them with columbine, wild geranium and woodland phlox.

Add a bit of texture with the native grass-like sedges and of course ferns.

A bit more information:  Don’t add additional soil underneath and plant with care when working under and around established trees. Do mulch new plantings and water as needed.

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