Deep shade

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Daisy

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Deep shade
« on: November 04, 2011, 10:16:42 AM »
Well, a good variety of weeds are now growing happily, in the deep shade underneath my citrus trees and loquat tree. So I thought, if they are happy there, what desirable plants will grow there?
Any ideas? ;D
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

David Bracey

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 05:47:51 PM »
I had success with small leaved ivies, Ruscus aculeatus, and Coronilla valentina.  I am sure there are more.
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2011, 08:26:55 AM »
I would expect Vinca; but I have no first hand experience of it in med. climates.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Aptenia cordifolia forming a nice dense carpet under some carobs, with a wall at one side - so it was really only getting a bit of light from one side; it was flowering nicely too. I have planted some cuttings under cypresses (with low branches) and they are doing quite well.

Update 9jan12: the Aptenia cuttings are OK, but not growing as well as many others in more open situations.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 11:12:16 AM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

David Bracey

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 01:43:32 PM »
Vinca minor prefers the deep shade of a moist deciduous temperate forest and does not do well in the med although it is often sold.  However V. major is another story.  It is indigenous in the Gard however it prefers edges of woods and semi shade.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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Cali

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2011, 03:04:57 PM »
Actually, Vinca minor does well in shady corners here in Corfu. I cut it way back during the dry months but it comes back and flowers well.
Cali Doxiadis
Former MGS President
Gardens in Corfu, Greece.

David Bracey

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2011, 03:49:57 PM »
Must be the sea effect.!!  This is one reason why it is difficult to list suitable plants for a specific environment.  Microclimates abound everywhere.  For example there is a floral walk at the Northern end of Lake Geneva, Montreux, dedicated to mediterranean plants with such species as cork oaks, Lagerstroemia, various palms, Arbutus, Trachelospermum, olives, Tamarix and so on.

The mountains at the end of the lake provide shelter from the cold North winds, known as the bise and the lake provides a reserve of moderating heat. 

Do members know other distinct mediterranean microclimates?
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 07:20:08 PM »
David, if I may provide some illustrations of the floral walk at Montreux:
1. the photographer, moi
2. the high mountains behind Montreux (on the left; and the similarly high mountains of Chablais on the right)
3. along the floral walk, including a tamarisk in the distance
4. different view (one of so many)
5. orange tulips

Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

David Bracey

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2011, 09:08:22 PM »
Excellent; I wonder if the Swiss MGS Branch know of this walk,
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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Alevin

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 07:32:50 AM »
Going back to the shade issue, I find that many Plectranthuses are a very good choice. Other plants that we grow in half or deep shade are Euphorbia carachias, various pelargoniums (the scented leaved ones), vincas, Saxifraga stolonifera, Arthropodium cirrathum, Iris japonica, Iris foetidissima, Ajuga reptans (see John's pictures of it growing in central Italy here), Acanthus of course, Cymbalaria muralis, Glechoma hederacea, the Epimediums, all the Ophiopogons and Liriope, many Violas (they almost disappear in the summer, but you probably water in that bed) and  some warm-climate Hostas that willl thrive on the water regime  you provide to the citruses.
Some of the above (there are many others) can take dry-ish conditions, other require more moisture, you will have to experiment.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:26:00 PM by Alisdair »
Alessandra - Garden Director- Giardini La Mortella, Ischia, zone 9-10

Daisy

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2011, 09:23:43 AM »
Gosh! That gives me lots of choice. Thank-you all. :)
Alevin's suggestion of violas made me kick myself. I have sown a packet of Viola cornuta alba. I can try those under the trees! They should be just the right height too.

I used to grow Saxifrage stolonifera in Cornwall. It loved it there. I hadn't thought of trying it here.
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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MikeHardman

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 10:00:15 AM »
Daisy, by all means try V. cornuta (alba or otherwise) under the trees, but be aware that they may not flower well there if it really is 'deep' shade. V. cornuta is not to be confused with V. odorata in respect of its preferences. In the wild, V. cornuta grows in competition with herbage, so can take some light shading; and in grazed areas, it becomes a recluse in shrub margins, again getting some shade. They make good understorey plants below roses; I have seen them as such in the rose beds at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire. In all those situations they will flower OK, but they will flower best in full sun. V. odorata (and V. alba and allies) are more tolerant of shade.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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oron peri

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 06:35:51 PM »
Just to add to Alessandra's excelent list: Iris unguicularis, a mediterranean native, which needs no water after beeing established.
It is most recomended for its longivity,  long period of showy blooming in mid to late winter, when there is very little color in the garden.
Leaves should be cut back drasticaly every 4-5 years in late summer as they grow too long to cover the flowers.
The best form is the one with wider leaves [about 1cm], which is originated to Algeria and is common in commerce.
Garden Designer, Bulb man, Botanical tours guide.
Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.

Umbrian

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2011, 07:40:03 AM »
Thanks Oron for your timely posting re Iris ungiucularis. I have always struggled to know when is the best time to cut back the leaves to prevent them suffocating the delicate flowers. I particularly treasure this Iris as it is the only one that the Porcupines, who live in the woods around us and use the garden to supplement their diet,leave alone. Due to their exuberant growth I feel that I need to cut back every year though, will this weaken the plant?
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

pamela

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 07:54:14 PM »
I see four flowers on my Iris unguicularis today but I haven't cut back the leaves enough and they are quite hidden. Oron ..how far is 'drastically'  I have cut mine back to about 35cm mid summer but its not the right time and not enough...oh dear!  Could I cut them back again now?
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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oron peri

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Re: Deep shade
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 07:41:32 AM »
Pamela and Carole

I. unguicularis is a tough plant despit its appearence.
Still i wouldnt recommend to cut its leaves every year but every 4-5 years down to about 10cm.
The best way, if you have a few groups of plants is to alternate this process.
While cutting the clump it is also an opportunity to divide it and replant new plants directly into the new location, if they have enogh roots they will bloom after a few months.
Garden Designer, Bulb man, Botanical tours guide.
Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.