Choosing Plants To Provide Filtered Shade

TREES

BIRCH

Betula species

Type: Deciduous Height: 25-90 feet Zones: 2-10 Soil: Moist

Light: Full sun to light shade

Comments: Birches are widely planted, often in clumps, for their interesting gray, white, black, or reddish brown bark that splits and hangs like wrapping paper. The weeping birch is valued for its shape. All have early catkin blooms that herald spring and leaves that turn yellow in autumn. All are short-lived and subject to many pests. River birch needs more moisture but resists problems better. 'Heritage' is an improved cultivar.

CHERRY, PLUM, PEACH

Prunus species

Type: Deciduous Height: Mostly 20-25 feet Zones: 2-10 Soil: Well drained Light: Full sun

Comments: The prunus group, with more than 400 species, includes all the stone fruits, from chokecherry to cherry laurel. Many of these are excellent choices for edible landscaping. If you don't want fruit, use purely ornamental kinds. Most are low growing and decorative, with clouds of spring flowers, single or double, in white, pink, or rose. Some have bronze foliage or glossy red bark; a few are evergreen. Shade density varies.

GINKGO

Ginkgo biloba

Type: Deciduous

Height: 50-80 feet

Zones: 5-10

Soil: Deep, loose

Light: Full sun to part shade

Comments: Hardy and slow growing, ginkgo trees are one of the oldest plants in cultivation. They are ideal as lawn or street trees because they're pest free, widely adaptable, and tolerant of smoke and pollution. Provide extra watering after planting. The male tree is neater; berries have a rancid odor when crushed. Fan-shaped leaves turn golden yellow in autumn and all fall at once, making raking a one-time affair.

PINE

Pinus species

Type: Coniferous evergreen Height: 30-100 feet Zones: 3-9

Soil: Well drained, low fertility Light: Full sun to timber shade

Comments: The pine group of needled evergreens contains few shrubs, mostly tall trees. They vary in height, hardiness, and shape. Prune for thicker growth by snapping tender candles of new growth in half in spring. Select best varieties for your area and landscape mood. Scotch pine has open shape and red bark; white pine has fine-textured needles. Austrian pine has stiff foliage, spreading habit, and round top.

SHRUBS

FORSYTHIA

Forsythia species

Type: Deciduous Height: 2-12 feet Zones: 4-8

Soil: Any, except very dry Light: Full sun

Comments: Forsythia's early-spring golden showers on arching or upright branches make it hard to resist. The plant is much hardier than the buds. Give it plenty of room; plant 8 to 10 feet from walk or patio. Never prune until after bloom. Then remove unwanted canes at the ground. Forsythia can claim more room than its limited season merits. Extra-hardy varieties are 'Northern Sun' and 'Ottawa.'

LILAC

Syringa species

Type: Deciduous Height: 3-20 feet Zones: 2-9

Soil: Well drained, rich Light: Full sun

Comments: Lilac's fabulous clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of white, pink, blue, purple, and rose in mid-spring make it popular despite its limited season of interest. Prune seedpods after bloom and limit shoots coming from the crown. Good near front entry, sunny patio, open windows, and as background hedge or accent plant. Lengthen season of bloom by choosing several different species.

VINES

CLEMATIS

Clematis species and hybrids

Type: Perennial Length: 5-30 feet Zones: 4-9

Soil: Sandy, slightly alkaline Light: Full sun to light shade

Comments: Beautiful plants, clematis species and hybrids vary widely in bloom type, color, fragrance, and season. The large, star-shaped flowers of the hybrids are spectacular in early summer. Sweet autumn clematis has fragrant flowers in fall with feathery seedpods. Plant in humus-rich soil with a little lime, and mulch well to keep the soil cool and moist. Shade the roots. Needs little pruning; wait until it leafs out completely.

MORNING-GLORY

Ipomea purpurea

Type: Mostly annual Length: 8-10 feet Zones: 4-10

Soil: Not too high in nitrogen Light: Full sun

Comments: One of the most loved and easily grown vines, morning-glory blooms from early summer until frost. Soak seeds overnight or notch before sowing; sow after danger of frost passes. Train on strings against a wall or on a fence. Plant improved varieties like 'Heavenly Blue,' 'Pearly Gates,' and 'Scarlet Star.' Though fast growing, morning-glory is best combined with a perennial or woody vine for shade.

FRONT YARDS

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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