i am sortint out my mums garden, an there is one area that has a lot of shade, i would like to put a ground covering plant with some colour, can anyone recomend one
Lamium maculatum is lovely, It doesn't mind what the soil conditions are but thrives in dappled or full shade. It has silver markings on the tiny leaves and throws up purple flowers about now.
Lamium maculatum is lovely, It doesn't mind what the soil conditions are but thrives in dappled or full shade. It has tiny silver leaves and throws up purple flowers about now.
I was going to suggest lamium too.
Geraniu phaeum - has purple/black splodges on the leaves and purple flowers about now. It can be cut back after flowering and will then produce fresh new foliage. Brunnera fomrs also like shade and have speckled, spoldged or crazed sliver variegations on the leaves and blue flowers like forget-me-nots. dropetris ferns are god in shade as are hostas which will give floiage colour and variegations and tall spikes of white, lilac or purple flowers.
All will benefit from having plenty of good garden compost or well rotted manure worked into the soil before planting and then a good watering afterwards and until established. Hostas will need wildlife friendly slug pellets to keep their foliage good but they're worth it.
Geranium phaeum is good, but it spreads ike a rampaging forest fire throughout the rest of the garden - be warned! I now cut it down at the first sign of seed heads, and even so it pops up everywhere, and is too tall and big to allow it its head as I can do with other plants.
Also for dry shade, pachysandra is very good, nicely shaped leaves and white spikey flowers.
This next bit is for gardeners with a very strong constitution. We have a very large and well loved red sycamore half way down our garden - under which little will grow. Please sit down now if you are likely to faint ....... I have planted variegated ground elder there, it lightens up the area and looks wonderful. As it has to really struggle for life it does not spread, it had s been there for about 10 years now, and remains more or less in place. It is never, ever allowed to flower, it does occasionally try to hijack a lift out in a nearby pot, but so far I have spotted it and stopped the escape. This is not something I would suggest except for the darkest, dryest & most inhospitable of places, but in these it really does do a great job. I do have its weedy first cousin in another part of the garden, that is not welcome and seems to be trying for world domination - but we all know about that one.
Not faining Bookertoo. I have the variegated ground elder growing in a bed just beyond my terrace. It has to compete with geranium macrorhizum - another good ground cover - and self seeded forget-me-nots. The three look fabulous in spring with the flower heads on but I do cut back the flowers on the elder to stop it seeding.
What doesn't look so good is the couch grass which has invaded this space and now needs careful pulling out along with the habitual nettle invasion I get every spring.
So glad not everyone collapses when I mention ground elder - it really is a good ground cover int he right place - mine lives with pachysandrum and bluebells, plus other oddments that come up there. I have little bulbs that have been and gone by the time it does its thing, some pale running ranunculus (celandine to all intents and purposes) and blue scillas. Like the idea of the geranium macrorhizum in there, may transplant a bit of that there in due course.
Can you eat the variegated one? I dealt with ground elder in a previous garden by digging it up and eating it as green veg until it gave up.
I don't know - I have never eaten it, but do make a tea with the green one, good for post gardening aches and pains. It was called Bishops Wort - they were the only people who were wealthy enough to get gout from rich eating it was thought.
At garden group today one of my ladies advised that we should do youga type stretching after gardening. She'd noticed that as she's getting older her body, especially her shoulders, can seize up when she comes in after gardening so she's started doing something based on the Cat and teh Child positions and it really helps. I have no idea about yoga but know about stretching because I also run Hip Hop classes for teens and the teacher's warm up includes stretching. Worth a try.