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Looking for dependable and compact shade plants?

In a small shade garden, you need plants that are compact, rugged, and reliablelike the three shown here, Their foliage is distinctive all year. Their flowers appear in abundance, tending to arrive in winter, when the garden most needs brightening. All three are easy to grow and practically permanent.

For sturdy bloom with bright color, give plants good morning or afternoon light. Water deeply and regularly the first year or two. After that, these plants benefit from regular watering but can survive with much less.

Two kinds of bergenia are common: B. crassifolia blooms in winter in mildwinter climates; in cold climates, its winter foliage is tinged red. B. cordifolia blooms in spring in all climates. Both grow in all but dry desert areas. In moist sites, bait regularly for snails and slugs.

Clivia plants labeled as hybrids have larger, brighter flowers and broader foliage than others. Clivia can take only light frosts; in colder areas, plant in containers and move them indoors in winter. In mild-winter climates, the best hellebores are Corsican hellebore (Helleborus lividus corsicus) and Lenten rose (H. orientalis). Cold-climate gardeners can grow all kinds.
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Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1989
Words:188
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