New Plants for the Shade Garden
As you may know, our new patio has created some new shady space for garden plants. Most of those I’ve put in so far are familiar to me – Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense), White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica). But I’m also trying a couple that are new to my garden: Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) and Eastern Star Sedge (Carex radiata).
Bush honeysuckle is a small Midwestern native shrub with yellow honeysuckle-like flowers and good fall color. It’s supposed to grow to only 3′, though Judy skeptically observed that ours had arrived already 2′ tall in its container.
Its early to mid-summer flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, while the seeds are eaten by some songbirds.
Eastern Star Sedge is a finely textured sedge that likes moist shade. It grows only 1-2′ tall. Star-like flower clusters emerge in spring.
This plant is another source of seeds eaten by songbirds.
Have you had any experience with either of these plants?
I’ve seen the bush honeysuckle 4′ to 5′ around here…I’m surprised it is listed at 2′ to 3′.
In that case, I’m in trouble.
Oh the joy of a new planting space! Bush or shrub honeysuckle is something entirely different to us in Europe so just proves that the Latin same is very important. I like your choices and look forward to seeing them when they have grown, The sedge looks especially beautiful.
We have shrub honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica and various others), for a time a very common ornamental shrub until people realized it was an invasive pest.
I haven’t grown either of these plants but both look good choices for you and your wildlife. The fallen leaves make a lovely pattern too in your photo. In the UK folk tend to over tidy and remove fallen leaves from borders but I have noticed blogs from the USA where they are left lying, its seems a better practice and provides homes for overwintering wildlife.
I am very rarely accused of being over tidy, but there are plenty of people in the US who do pick up every leaf and stick.
I’m so glad you added diervilla! I have three types in my garden and just love it. It’s very low maintenance and is one of the first plants to leaf out in the spring. The carex looks cool, too. My diervilla lonicera (straight native) is short at 2-3 ft tall but my d. rivularis is 6 ft tall and the ‘Cool splash’ should hit 4 ft or so.
I have the straight species D. lonicera, which is good before I want something on the short side.
The color of the Blush honeysuckles is lovely!
I’m looking forward to seeing them in bloom next year.
These look like nice choices. I haven’t experience with them will be interested to learn how you like them.
Our native bush honeysuckle tends to grow more horizontal than vertical but if it stood upright I’d say it would reach three feet. I’m not sure what it gets from growing horizontally but every one I’ve seen does it.
So is it a different species or just grows differently because of conditions.
No, it’s the same one you planted, northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera.) I’m really not sure why it has such a horizontal habit unless it’s because it is reaching for sunlight. It grows naturally right at the edge of the forest, so it tends to lean into the light, and away from the forest behind it.
No experience here but I’ve got a question. What is your very favorite shrub?
Oh, that is a very tough question. I guess I would have to say Serviceberry, with Cranberrybush a close second.
I haven’t grown either myself but I hear nothing but good things about Diervilla. It’s yet another on my long list of items to add to my own garden.
My list is also still very long!
You have some interesting new plants. I haven’ t tried either of them so I will be interested to see how they do in your garden.
No personal experience in my own garden, but I’ve seen both during hikes and I think both at the UW Arboretum. Bush Honeysuckle is one of those plants that has multi-season appeal: The bark, foliage, flowers, and berries. I especially enjoy the multicolored beauty of the fall foliage.
Yes, the leaves are really nice in autumn.
I have only planted the trillium and it has not spread beyond the one plant…no luck so far with Ginger but I really like the sedge.
I have never tried planting the White Trillium though when we lived in Wisconsin there was some already growing in the garden. On the other hand, I’ve planted a lot of Wild Ginger and it has been pretty easy to grow.
I have the bush honeysuckle too and find it an easy care plant. My only challenge is keeping from the rabbits who seem to like it.
Oy, thanks for telling me. I guess I’ll have to use up a bit more hardware cloth this winter.
It’s always wonderful to have new plants isn’t it? I love your choices, especially the bush honeysuckle, I’ll look forward to seeing pics of the flowers.xxx
I have a nice planting of Diervilla lonicera along my driveway for about 8 years now. Despite the hot and exposed location it has done quite well, although in drought years you can sure tell it’s not happy. It is about 2 ft tall and has been slowly spreading.
I have a prairie planted behind and adjacent to it which I burn annually. Diervilla has responded rather dramatically to burning, causing it to appear much healthier in the season following a good burn. Spreading is also increased after a good burn.
Diervilla would make a good substitute for Gro Low Sumac as it has a similar habit — low and spreading, especially if the area was shaded.
This plant has a subtle beauty. Flowers are lovely but not dramatic. I planted Callirhoe involucrata alongside it, which vines into the Diervilla. Both flower at the same time. Very nice effect! I would add a picture if I could figure out how.
I have never observed Diervilla in a natural setting although I understand it is not uncommon.
I’m also intrigued by the Carex radiata. I grow a few Carexes here, but not that one. However, I did add it to a client’s landscape where it fizzled out. Let us know how it fares with you, please!
My favorite Carex here is C. muskinomensis or Palm Sedge. Just awesome!
I grow Palm Sedge, I like it, though it can get a little overwhelming.