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Re: 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

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
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Corydalis
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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
> 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
> always transport some.  I'm looking for other ideas.

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