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DRY SHADE GARDEN IDEAS

Groundcover

Ajuga reptans Bugleweed

Fast growing, blue or pink flowers, cultivars have many leaf variations in color

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides  Dwarf Plumbago

Fast growing, bright blue flowers and fall color

Mahonia repens  Creeping Oregon Grape

Native that can take deep shade, deer resistant, good under oaks

Symphoricarpos x chenaultii ‘Hancock’ Chenault coralberry

Fast growing relative of the Snowberry, has rosy red fruit and pink flowers

Rubus pentalobus Creeping Raspberry

Evergreen “Emerald Carpet” has durable thick leaves, sun or shade

 

Perennials

Aquilegia spp. Columbine

Natives or cultivars are surprisingly drought tolerant once established

Bletilla striata Chinese Ground Orchid

Pink to white blooms in spring, look like mini Cattleyas, easy to grow

Bulbine frutescens ‘Hallmark Cape Balsam

Long blooming orange spike flowers, evergreen fleshy leaves,  very low water

Euphorbia Spurge

Many cultivars for gardens with diverse size, leaf color & unique flowers

Helleborus orientalis Lenten Rose

Long blooming winter flowers come in many colors

Heuchera Coral Bells

A rainbow of different leaf color, pink or white flowers are secondary

Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass

Native grass will be smaller in shade, very low water once established

Salvia spathacea Hummingbird Sage

A native sage with bold foilage and richly scented rosy flowers captivate hummers

 

Shrubs

Ceanothus ‘Valley Violet’, ‘Skylark’, ‘Ray Hartman California Lilac

Spring flowers in shades of blue, shade tolerant selections, great under oaks

Coprosma repens ‘Fireburst Mirror Plant

Shiny colorful red, pink, green & cream leaves become more intense in winter

Daphne odora ‘AureomarginataWinter Daphne

Needs little root disturbance, fussy plant rewards with sublime fragrant flower

Osmanthus fragrans Sweet Olive

Stronge peach scented flowers, tolerates clay soils, drought tolerant once mature

Rhamnus californica ‘Mound San Bruno Coffeeberry

Compact selection of a native, attracts birds with its red and black berries

Rosa ‘Iceburg’ & ‘Carefree Beauty

White Iceburg and Carefree Beauty pink shrub rose rebloom all season, resists diseases

Rosa californica  California Wild Rose

A haven for wildlife, this rose is naturally resistant to disease, spreads by runners, perfect barrier planting