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  1. #1
    I am trying to plan a shade garden in central Louisiana. I have 9 trees in my backyard. I have selected three that are grouped & forming a triangle. I want to plan inside this triangle first then around the outside probably next year. How do I prepare this area for a shade garden? What is the best way to start the project. I have several plants I think will go good in this area. Bleeding Hearts, Wandering Jew, & one other that I don't know the name, but it loves the shade.*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi LGCS,

    Sounds like a lovely garden plan.* :)* You don't say if these are established trees or newly planted.* The best way to prepare the soil is to add lots of organic matter and mix it in, but if there are tree roots you will need to be careful not to add more then 3" of combined compost and mulch.* You can purchase compost in bags or bulk, depending on how much you need.* Incorporate lots of rotted leaves and coffee grounds.* You can get free spent coffee grounds from any Starbucks.* Just let them know you want it for a garden.

    Can you post a picture of the area?* How about a picture of the plant you don't know the name of?* Maybe we can id it for you.

    You should also find this helpful.
    http://www.backyardgardener.com/shade/index.html

    Newt

  3. #3
    This are well establised trees over 60-70 feet tall. The triangle area is approx 4-5 feet between trees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    With well established trees you will need to be careful when digging so as not to harm the roots of the trees.* Incorporate some compost as best you can.* Don't pile mulch against the trunks of the trees.
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

    Newt

  5. #5
    Hope you can tell me what this plant is. I know it keeps coming back each year.

  6. #6
    This is were I plan to start.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Your plant that returns each year is a wax begonia.* It's an annual where I live.* :(*
    http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/p....asp?code=a562

    Your picture is very small and I can't tell the real size of the area, but you will definitely need to be very careful when digging around the tree roots.* This should help explain how and where tree roots grow.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/WO017
    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/02926.html

    Newt

  8. #8
    To get a size of the trees. The white objects are gallon jugs to feed the squirls. The original pic was to large to download. I had to reduce it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    I thought those gallon jugs were birdhouses!* :?* Glad you explained that.* I was wondering if the birds were going to have turf wars.* ;)* Glad you explained it.* It's a lovely setting.*

    Newt

  10. #10
    The birds also enjoy the sunflower seeds. We have cardinals, bluebirds, doves & sparrows coming to the backyard. Few hummingbirds, but I don't have any good flowers in back for them. Deer, possium, armidillos & racoons also are frequent visitors.

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