Morning sun and afternoon shade like that found on the east side of a building is perfect for rhododendrons, camellias and other blooming shade shrubs.
This is a good week for scheming and dreaming about your garden. Spring ideas, indoors and outdoors, will soon be growing at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show, which runs Jan. 26-29 at the Tacoma Dome.
I will be speaking Jan. 28-29 about “Gardening on the Dark Side” and “Creative Container Gardening.” Here are a few take home ideas from my upcoming garden seminars at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show:
Tips for gardens in the shade
Know how much shade you have and when you have it. Morning sun and afternoon shade like that found on the east side of a building is perfect for rhododendrons, camellias and other blooming shade shrubs.
For deep shade, like on the north side of a building or under large trees, use shrubs with large leaves such as Fastia japonica and Acuba.
Shade-loving groundcovers like ajuga and vinca can help control weeds and erosion if you have the space. Groundcovers can gobble up real estate.
Plants growing in the shade need less fertilizer as they have a slower growth rate because of the lack of light.
Many shade-tolerant plants come from woodlands and forest. That means they like soil that is rich in organic matter created from falling forest debris. Add leaf mold or compost and mulch with bark chips to make them happy.
The best bloomers for a shaded flower garden: impatiens, begonia, lobelia and coleus.
Tips for creative container gardening
You don’t need to place the tallest plant in the middle of the container. If a planted pot is viewed from just one angle, place the tallest plants in the back and have the trailers in the front.
Mix perennials such as hellebores with winter pansies and primroses. This creates a much-appreciated dose of winter color on porch and patio.
Anything with drainage holes can be used to hold plants. An old wheelbarrow can be filled with herbs that can be wheeled around to catch the sun or moved closed to the patio for easy harvest when cooking outdoors. Metal tool boxes, wooden crates — there are lots of ideas for recycling containers.
You can spray paint weather-worn pots — even if they are plastic or lightweight foam.
Broken clay pots can be recycled into staking towers and filled with sedums and succulents.
See Marianne at the Tacoma Home & Garden Show
Gardening expert Marianne Binetti will speak at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29. Ticket discounts and more information are available on the website.
3 p.m. Saturday — Shade Gardening: Marianne will provide tips on slug control, watering, shade-loving perennials, native plants and more.
1 p.m. Sunday — Creative Container Gardens: See some great examples of unusual containers and other tips and tricks that celebrate dirt-cheap gardening and creative container gardens.
Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of 10 gardening books. Reach her at binettigarden.com.