Last month I wrote about drought resistant plants for a dry and sunny border. Plants that thrive in (chalky) clay soils and can handle hot summers and icy winters. This month a list of suggestions for a dry and shady border.
Plants of the Burgundy forests
In the garden of my Burgundy house I have two beautiful and very characteristic old lime trees. In spring there is sufficient moisture and light under these big trees. In summer it is shady and dry. In the forests around here you will find Helleborus niger (Christmas rose), Vinca minor (Lesser Periwinkle), Lamium (Deadnettle), Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone), Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’ (Lords and ladies), Geranium (Cranesbill) and Polygonatum multiflorum (Solomon’s Seal).
Plants seen in the neighbourhood
In Voutenay (a village close by) I noticed Asplenium scolopendrium (hart’s-tongue fern), very close to the road, under the trees. Did someone plant them there? They look wonderful with their long shiny light-green leaves. Even in winter!
And look at this picture: a carpet of Cyclamen hederifolium (ivy-leaved cyclamen or Snowbread) under the trees on an estate in Sainte-Pallaye (Yonne 89).
Three years ago I reorganised my shady border and added lots of plants related to the plants mentioned above (see the list).
More plants for the dry and shady border
Plants that are doing very well under the limes: Brunnera macrophylla (False forget-me-not), Digitalis grandiflora (Yellow Foxglove), Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass), Epimedium x rubrum (Red Barrenwort), Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae (Wood spurge), Polystichum setiferum (Soft shield fern), Galium odoratum (Sweet woodruff) and Aruncus dioicus (Goat’s beard).
Last spring (2013) was very wet. Slugs left lots of holes in the leaves of my Hosta (plantain lily) and Kirengeshoma palmata (Yellow wax bells). Both are very strong plants, will survive the attacts of the slugs and come back next year. Hopefully next spring will not be so wet.
Some other plants that should be worth trying in a dry shady Burgundy border: Iris foetidissima (Stinking iris; flowers in winter when there is still enough light under the trees.), Dicentra formosa and Dicentra eximia (Bleeding heart), Silene dioica (Red campion), Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive fern), Lunaria rediviva (Perennial honesty), Persicaria affine ‘Superba’ (Knotweed), Teucrium chamaedrys ‘Nanum’ (Germander) and Symphytum azureum (Comfrey).
The plants shown above are listed on the chart below from the top left corner.
Iris unguicularis (Algerian iris) and Lysimachia punctata (Yellow Loosestrife) will do (too) well: they are vigorous.
And of course there are many bulbs that will do very well under trees. They will flower in the spring before the leaves appear. Scillas, Bluebells, Daffodils, Snowdrops, etc. We will deal with them in September when it’s time to plant them.
|30 Plants for a dry and shady border||English name||↑||❀|
|Anemone blanda||Winter windflower||15 cm||3-4|
|Arum italicum 'Marmoratum'||Lords and ladies||30 cm||4-5|
|Aruncus dioicus||Goat's beard||150 cm||6-8|
|Asplenium scolopendrium||Hart's tonque fern||50 cm|
|Aster divaricatus||White wood aster||60 cm||6-8|
|Bergenia varieties||Elephant's ears||40 cm||4-5|
|Brunnera macrophylla||False forget-me-not||40 cm||4-5|
|Cyclamen hederifolium||Ivy-leaved cyclamen||15 cm||8-9|
|Dicentra eximia and Dicentra Formosa||Bleeding heart||20 cm||5-9|
|Digitalis grandiflora||Large yellow Foxglove||80 cm||7-8|
|Epimedium x rubrum||Red barrenwort||25 cm||4-5|
|Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae||Mrs Robb's bonnet||40 cm||7-8|
|Galium odoratum||Sweet woodruff||25 cm||5-6|
|Geranium macrorrhizum||Cranesbill||30 cm||6-7|
|Geranium phaeum 'Album'||Dusky cranesbill 'Album'||60 cm||5-8|
|Hakonechloa macra||Japanese forest grass||30||8-10|
|Helleborus orientalis||Christmas rose||50 cm||2-4|
|Hosta fortunei 'Halcyon'||Plantain lily 'Halcyon'||35 cm||7-8|
|Iris foetidissima||Stinking iris||60 cm||6-7|
|Kirengeshoma palmata||Yellow wax-bells||75 cm||8-9|
|Lamium orvala||Deadnettle||50 cm||5-6|
|Lunaria rediviva||Perennial honesty||100 cm||4-5|
|Onoclea sensibilis||Sensitive fern||50 cm|
|Persicaria affinis 'Superba'||Knotweed 'Superba'||25 cm||8-10|
|Polygonatum multiflorum||Solomon's Seal||60 cm||5-6|
|Polystichum setiferum||Soft shield fern||40 cm|
|Silene dioica||Red campion||70 cm||5-8|
|Symphytum azureum||Comfrey||50 cm||4-5|
|Teucrium chamaedrys 'Nanum'||Germander||26||6-9|
|Vinca minor||Lesser periwinkle||15 cm||4-5|
Do you have favourite perennials for the Burgundy soil and climate? Please share them with me and the readers of this article. Questions are welcome to!!!