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RE: Garden Projects


Marge, 

I'll have to look for  Lysmachia japonica 'Minutissima'. L. nummularia
(Creeping Jenny) does well in the sun and part shade, but it's way too
aggressive.  I have sandy soil, and the area where this garden is located is
under a blue spruce and red cedars.  I'm guessing that my soil is acidy as I
have lots of moss occurring naturally on the property. Parts of this shady
area are dry due to tree roots.  Other sections seem to have less roots and
things grow well there. I've top dressed with shredded mulch and added
manure when I've gotten around to it. As the mulch breaks down my sandy soil
improves somewhat. I might give moss a try or just leave a light mulch cover
between the stones.  I'm sure that the columbines and other plants will seed
in between the rocks anyway!

Chris
Long Island, NY
Zone 7

 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Marge Talt
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 12:34 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Garden Projects

Well, Chris, my beds tend to be curved as well.  You can still use logs, you
just have to saw the ends at the angle needed to make them make the curve
when you butt them together; plus use lengths that when put together at the
right angle will make the curve rather than create sharp corners - rather a
pain in the rear, but it can be
done:-)

I have not had huge success with shade loving plants between stones probably
because most of the really short shade lovers also want a lot of moisture.
Mazus reptans will work and can stand quite a bit of foot traffic, but it
really has to have very bright light if not sun and wants moist conditions.
If it's in too much shade, it just moves to more light and if it's too dry,
it sort of disappears.  I have it covering a large part of the lower gravel
drive where water drains down from the rest of the property...it would much
rather grow there than in the beds where I tried to put it.  The white form
is a bit taller than the species, but it is so pristine in bloom; I love it.
Mazus is half a bog plant, I've decided; it's really happy in heavy wet clay
soil.  I have 2 pots of Lysmachia japonica 'Minutissima' that I intend to
try between stones in the part of the woodland garden I'm currently building
- it's cute as a button and supposed to stand some foot traffic...but,
again, it has to have moisture.  I'd sure like to find something similar to
these two that puts up with shade and dry woodland soil!

Moss will come if the conditions suit it...if they don't, you can transplant
it forever and it won't take.  Much of the moss I find here growing on soil
seems to prefer raw clay subsoil to soil with organic matter.  Other moss
prefers growing on wood.  I love moss. 
It really isn't good for heavy foot traffic areas, but it can take
infrequent walking upon.  You have to keep leaves and debris off it and it
makes an excellent nurse plant for numerous weeds who like moist, acid
conditions, so it needs a fair amount of weeding - it also makes a good
nurse plant for fern spore.  I've found several fern babies growing through
assorted patches of moss.  In spite of the rather high maintenance needs,
where I find patches of it, I try to encourage it and keep it watered when
it doesn't rain.

One other thing about moss.  If you want to try to move it, you have to move
it to the same type of conditions it had where it put itself
- same light, moisture and substrate - or it just dies.  There are so many
species and I have absolutely no clue about who is what; can't pronounce the
botanical names; can't even remember them visually.  I think it was George
Schenk (if I spelled that right) who wrote a good book on Moss.  I have it,
but still can't put a name on the various sorts....moss names are worse than
fern names.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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----------
> From: Chris@widom-assoc.com
> Marge,
> 
> I tend to have curved beds, so even though I have a lot of cedar
logs, they
> just don't look right.  I have used them to define some areas with
success.
> 
> Here's another question, has anyone used a shade loving plant
between stones
> in a garden path?  I have an abundance of moss around here, so I
could
> always transport some.  I'm looking for other ideas.

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