What to plant in difficult, dry corner?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Selleri, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Super Gardener

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    Please suggest a good perennial or low shrub for this awkward spot!

    My wild corner has mature Ivy, a small wildlife pond and is edged by a curved border. I initially planted Astilbes I had in the back, theoretically they are just right with the lovely foliage and semi- wild appearance. In practise, the spot is bone dry so they struggle. When digging the pond and the border, I found old bricks apparently forming a foundation of an old building. I dug out as much rubble as I could and replaced with good soil, but the spot remains very, very dry.

    It gets sun for 2-3 hours a day.

    I'd like something with medium sized, attractive foliage, flowers are a bonus. I'd rather have something low growing, knee height at max so that the pond can be seen when you walk there.

    The Geraniums are doing well, something similar but different kind of foliage and flower size would be ideal. In essence, I want Astilbe that does well in dry spot :heehee:

    astilbe.jpg
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    I think you need to get shot of the ivy.:scratch::)
     
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    • Redwing

      Redwing Wild Gardener

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      Vinca likes dry shade, is evergreen and looks good around ponds. Pollinating insects like it too.
       
    • Graham B

      Graham B Gardener

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      Vinca will live anywhere. The problem is that it won't stay put - it's constantly spreading. If you bring it in, expect to have to cut it back hard every year or two.

      You could consider a wild and cottage garden flower mix. Aquilegia, cornflower, honesty, poppy, flax, nigella, nasturtium - they'll all do pretty well. Aquilegia is perennial, and the others will self-seed for next year. Add bulbs to give more interest in early spring as well

      Also night scented stock. The first year's sowing tends to be pretty sparse, but if you leave the dead plants over the area at the end of the year, they'll self seed for the next year.
       
    • Perki

      Perki Total Gardener

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      Japenese Anemone - euphorbia robbie - Liriope group - Geranium macrorrhizume group - Sarococca tend to grow anywhere - look at some of the Acanthus most are larger than you want - epimediums love dry shade. ferns ? I don't know variety's though.
       
    • Selleri

      Selleri Super Gardener

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      Thanks everyone- plenty of googling going on. Japanese anemones are a serious contender, or I might go for Hellebores. I have a self seeded one in the back and it is rather attractive and flowers well, but doesn't do much in the summer.

      @pete , mature ivy is the best plant ever, blackbirds nest in it and migrating butterflies go mad when it flowers. It also happens to nicely hide my neighbour's shed and my less that pretty fence :biggrin:
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I only mentioned it because in the picture I couldn't even see a pond :biggrin:
        It just looks like a mass of ivy and it's probably draining every bit of moisture out of the ground.
         
      • Selleri

        Selleri Super Gardener

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        Of course you can't see the pond, it's a hidden pond. :old: You have to walk right up to the geraniums to see it. It used to be the neighbour's cat's favourite spot to lie and hope that blackbird chicks fall into it's mouth. After I dug the pond I believe the cat fell in a few times before deciding to go elsewhere for it's bird stalking activities. ;)

        But back to topic, I believe lower growing variant of Japanese Anemones will be just right there. Thanks :)
         
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