I seek garden enlightenment

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The Farmers Daughter

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The Inn has a shade garden with a fountain. The garden is not performing well and the PTB (powers that be) want me to rip it all out and replant it, but before hand, I need to develop a garden plan and figure out what it will cost to do.
I have no real idea how to go about it. I would love to hear from some of you who garden or have ideas.
The area is about 15' x 10'. Shaded for most of the day and it has a 4' fountain in the center of it with a large arborvitae on the left side and a mid sized cherry laurel on the right with a ring of boxwood around it. All those things will stay and they want me to replant with a groundcover like English Ivy.
Thoughts or suggestions?
 

muirford

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I also have a shady garden and it is a challenge. I do not have a green thumb. Hostas are my friend.
A resource I might suggest would be whiteflowerfarm.com. They have an extensive amount of information on their website including ideas for plants in all kinds of sun and soil conditions in the various growing zones.
 

Samster

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I have a side yard that is shady most of the day. I have a large perennial bed and have tried various plants that are supposed to do well in shade but haven't. Hostas have done OK (if the snails don't get them), Mexican petunias (they'll take over everything though), ferns, and hydrangeas. I just planted some astilbe and will see how they'll do. I checked out Muirford's link and there's some nice shade collections there. Good luck!
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Thanks for the information. I suppose my bigger queston would be how many plants do you use per square foot?
 

Samster

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Thanks for the information. I suppose my bigger queston would be how many plants do you use per square foot?.
Depends on the size of whatever you're planting and how large it grows to maturity in season.
There should be planting recommendations on the pot or flat from the nursery. Or you can look on line.
Also depends on if you want a solid garden or not. It's really up to your preference when you plant your garden.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Ok I have more information to work with now.
The bed is 280 sq feet including the fountain/arborvitae/laurel that will stay there. There are also 2 hydrangias and a scattered handful of boxwood and hostas that will be left after I rip out the things we are not keeping.
I am told that English Ivy needs 12 " of space per plant and there are 10 plants in a flat.
According to my (perhaps flawed) calculations, I will need about 23 plants to do this garden.
Is that correct?
 

EmptyNest

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Ok I have more information to work with now.
The bed is 280 sq feet including the fountain/arborvitae/laurel that will stay there. There are also 2 hydrangias and a scattered handful of boxwood and hostas that will be left after I rip out the things we are not keeping.
I am told that English Ivy needs 12 " of space per plant and there are 10 plants in a flat.
According to my (perhaps flawed) calculations, I will need about 23 plants to do this garden.
Is that correct?.
The more you put in..the faster it will fill the beds. Ivy really isn't that particular. Be careful...it can take over if you don't keep it in check.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Ok I have more information to work with now.
The bed is 280 sq feet including the fountain/arborvitae/laurel that will stay there. There are also 2 hydrangias and a scattered handful of boxwood and hostas that will be left after I rip out the things we are not keeping.
I am told that English Ivy needs 12 " of space per plant and there are 10 plants in a flat.
According to my (perhaps flawed) calculations, I will need about 23 plants to do this garden.
Is that correct?.
The more you put in..the faster it will fill the beds. Ivy really isn't that particular. Be careful...it can take over if you don't keep it in check.
.
So do you think that is suffient or would you use more?
 

EmptyNest

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Ok I have more information to work with now.
The bed is 280 sq feet including the fountain/arborvitae/laurel that will stay there. There are also 2 hydrangias and a scattered handful of boxwood and hostas that will be left after I rip out the things we are not keeping.
I am told that English Ivy needs 12 " of space per plant and there are 10 plants in a flat.
According to my (perhaps flawed) calculations, I will need about 23 plants to do this garden.
Is that correct?.
The more you put in..the faster it will fill the beds. Ivy really isn't that particular. Be careful...it can take over if you don't keep it in check.
.
So do you think that is suffient or would you use more?
.
It sounds good to me.
 

sandynn

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Ok I have more information to work with now.
The bed is 280 sq feet including the fountain/arborvitae/laurel that will stay there. There are also 2 hydrangias and a scattered handful of boxwood and hostas that will be left after I rip out the things we are not keeping.
I am told that English Ivy needs 12 " of space per plant and there are 10 plants in a flat.
According to my (perhaps flawed) calculations, I will need about 23 plants to do this garden.
Is that correct?.
If I were you and I wanted English Ivy I would just find a neighbor who has lots of Ivy and ask for starts. You will get so much and plant in larger clumps that what you get in a flat. We have Ivy everywhere and are more that happy to give people very big starts. It is very shallow rooted so it is easy to dig up starts. We have Ivy everywhere and I got mine from a lady who in another town. I just ask what it was and next thing I knew she had two grocery bag for me. That is how we started 26 years ago. Now of course we are the Ivy House.
If you come to see me I will all the starts you could want. :)
 

One Day

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Thanks Swirt
TFD......
Problem with Ivy is that it spreads every where.....it will find it's way into shrubs, trees, hedges and grow in them, on them and attach to them.....it can also spread to locations where you never intended it to go......Removal is not all that easy.
Additionaly.....Ivy is a trash colector....any and all debris falling from trees.....and you said it was a shaded location......all debris will collect in the Ivy......no easy task to clean it out.
Another thing regarding Ivy....it provides cover for small burrowing animals.
The link Muirford provided is realy good.....I checked it out....nice feature for having sections for sun or shade.......the listing of perennials for shade use is pretty good..........and you can surely do something more creative, atractive, interesting and more user friendly than Ivy
Many of the perennials you can purchase in as large a size available......divide them right from the start.....it is not unusual to get 4 divisions from one plant purchase....if not then.....then second season you can start dividing and spreading them out or moving them around the property.
 

muirford

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Ok I have more information to work with now.
The bed is 280 sq feet including the fountain/arborvitae/laurel that will stay there. There are also 2 hydrangias and a scattered handful of boxwood and hostas that will be left after I rip out the things we are not keeping.
I am told that English Ivy needs 12 " of space per plant and there are 10 plants in a flat.
According to my (perhaps flawed) calculations, I will need about 23 plants to do this garden.
Is that correct?.
Like CL said, be really careful of the ivy taking over. The previous owner here allowed that to happen, and we had a very hard time getting rid of it where we didn't want it. It will choke out everything else and spread like crazy. After we were here for two years, we happened to find a slate patio that had been buried under several layers of ivy!
 

Morticia

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Skip the ivy. You'll hate it when all the fall leaves are stuck in it.
How about a selection of hostas (nice variegated greean will add interest) a couple of astilbes for flowers, some azaleas or rhododendrons, too.
 

gillumhouse

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Thanks Swirt
TFD......
Problem with Ivy is that it spreads every where.....it will find it's way into shrubs, trees, hedges and grow in them, on them and attach to them.....it can also spread to locations where you never intended it to go......Removal is not all that easy.
Additionaly.....Ivy is a trash colector....any and all debris falling from trees.....and you said it was a shaded location......all debris will collect in the Ivy......no easy task to clean it out.
Another thing regarding Ivy....it provides cover for small burrowing animals.
The link Muirford provided is realy good.....I checked it out....nice feature for having sections for sun or shade.......the listing of perennials for shade use is pretty good..........and you can surely do something more creative, atractive, interesting and more user friendly than Ivy
Many of the perennials you can purchase in as large a size available......divide them right from the start.....it is not unusual to get 4 divisions from one plant purchase....if not then.....then second season you can start dividing and spreading them out or moving them around the property..
When we moved here in 1995, there was ivy everywhere. I spent weeks ripping it out as it was a "tripper" for DH. Now I have a kid come every spring and whenever he is here to mow, he is to remove the ivy. The first question I asked before he started was - do you catch poison ivy. I have enough poison ivy mixed in with that ivy to wish it were a cash crop! He missed some, but I will point it out the next time he mows - and I will remind him the chives I pointed out were so he would NOT weed whack them!
The last thing I would actually plant is ivy of any kind. People think it looks neat climbing up the side of a house - but it holds moisture there where you really do not want it.
 

EmptyNest

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Thanks Swirt
TFD......
Problem with Ivy is that it spreads every where.....it will find it's way into shrubs, trees, hedges and grow in them, on them and attach to them.....it can also spread to locations where you never intended it to go......Removal is not all that easy.
Additionaly.....Ivy is a trash colector....any and all debris falling from trees.....and you said it was a shaded location......all debris will collect in the Ivy......no easy task to clean it out.
Another thing regarding Ivy....it provides cover for small burrowing animals.
The link Muirford provided is realy good.....I checked it out....nice feature for having sections for sun or shade.......the listing of perennials for shade use is pretty good..........and you can surely do something more creative, atractive, interesting and more user friendly than Ivy
Many of the perennials you can purchase in as large a size available......divide them right from the start.....it is not unusual to get 4 divisions from one plant purchase....if not then.....then second season you can start dividing and spreading them out or moving them around the property..
When we moved here in 1995, there was ivy everywhere. I spent weeks ripping it out as it was a "tripper" for DH. Now I have a kid come every spring and whenever he is here to mow, he is to remove the ivy. The first question I asked before he started was - do you catch poison ivy. I have enough poison ivy mixed in with that ivy to wish it were a cash crop! He missed some, but I will point it out the next time he mows - and I will remind him the chives I pointed out were so he would NOT weed whack them!
The last thing I would actually plant is ivy of any kind. People think it looks neat climbing up the side of a house - but it holds moisture there where you really do not want it.
.
Yes i hate ivy as well. We have some in our front bed that tries to climb the house..but we whack it back every year. I wouldn't be sad to see some Roundup on it.
 

muirford

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Thanks Swirt
TFD......
Problem with Ivy is that it spreads every where.....it will find it's way into shrubs, trees, hedges and grow in them, on them and attach to them.....it can also spread to locations where you never intended it to go......Removal is not all that easy.
Additionaly.....Ivy is a trash colector....any and all debris falling from trees.....and you said it was a shaded location......all debris will collect in the Ivy......no easy task to clean it out.
Another thing regarding Ivy....it provides cover for small burrowing animals.
The link Muirford provided is realy good.....I checked it out....nice feature for having sections for sun or shade.......the listing of perennials for shade use is pretty good..........and you can surely do something more creative, atractive, interesting and more user friendly than Ivy
Many of the perennials you can purchase in as large a size available......divide them right from the start.....it is not unusual to get 4 divisions from one plant purchase....if not then.....then second season you can start dividing and spreading them out or moving them around the property..
When we moved here in 1995, there was ivy everywhere. I spent weeks ripping it out as it was a "tripper" for DH. Now I have a kid come every spring and whenever he is here to mow, he is to remove the ivy. The first question I asked before he started was - do you catch poison ivy. I have enough poison ivy mixed in with that ivy to wish it were a cash crop! He missed some, but I will point it out the next time he mows - and I will remind him the chives I pointed out were so he would NOT weed whack them!
The last thing I would actually plant is ivy of any kind. People think it looks neat climbing up the side of a house - but it holds moisture there where you really do not want it.
.
Yes i hate ivy as well. We have some in our front bed that tries to climb the house..but we whack it back every year. I wouldn't be sad to see some Roundup on it.
.
The last house we had before the Inn was a cute little Mansard Victorian (about 1200 square feet) in the Boston area. The previous owners had decided to encourage the cottage feel by allowing ivy to grow up the walls of the house to the second story on one side. We cut it all down the first year when we painted the house. Two years later, we remodeled the kitchen and found ivy STILL growing inside the walls of the kitchen when we got down to the lath and plaster. It is extremely destructive to structures.
We still have some in our shade garden but it is limited to just a few spots and we tear it out when it goes beyond those borders. We also get poison ivy mixed in so have to be careful with it. I get it but DH does not.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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I know about the downsides of Ivy having exhausted myself opposing it loudly for weeks now. The PTB want what they want. I am powerless to stop them.
The worst part is that in a couple years...guess who will be pulling it out?
 

muirford

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I know about the downsides of Ivy having exhausted myself opposing it loudly for weeks now. The PTB want what they want. I am powerless to stop them.
The worst part is that in a couple years...guess who will be pulling it out?.
Can you at least get them to consider periwinkle? It's not as hard to control as ivy, and it's marginally prettier with at least some blue flowers in the spring.
 

Emily Spiers

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Are you looking for color or just ground cover? Vinca vines are different. Creeping phlox is beautiful in the spring and green the rest of the time. Oregano is low growing (at least mine is) and really takes up some space.
 
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