Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Joining the Dark Side

Alas, 'tis true.  I've turned - from focusing on the sun-baked bowl of my back yard to the dappled, partial shade zone that is the side yard.  Previously drenched in ivy, we've removed that - leaving behind some camellias and wild blackberries.  One area - big enough for two trees - is fairly sunny.  Not hot mind you, but a steady-ish stream of sun.  The hydrangeas that used to occupy this zone were often sunburnt and wilting. The rest is partial shade.

What is an edible gardening, wildlife attracting jedi to do?

I plan to put in a couple of fruit trees in the sunnier spot.  One persimmon, which I've read are shade tolerant and one what?  According to this month's Urban Farm, pears and apples can produce in a half day of sun but I've already got two of each up on the sunny back 40.  What about a plum?  Urban Farm says maybe.

For shrubs, I intend to put in some currants and maybe an elderberry.  I'll also cultivate the berries that remain and might put in a few oakleaf hydrangeas - just because I love them! But it would be nice to have something busy, something that the birds can hang out in and something pretty as our family room and living room windows look out on this planting strip.

Ground level might have some strawberries, yarrow, and what?!?

I'm looking for perennials mostly, stuff with not a lot of upkeep but that is useful for either wildlife habitat, attractive or productive in an edible sense.  I'm live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Any ideas for this newly-minted shade trooper?

* I am linking to Garden Tuesdays  and Homestead Barn Hop for this post.

* For more galactic adventures, like me on Facebook.


Melinda said...

How about hostas? They love shade and look pretty all season. Not edible though - except to deer who love them!

Jill @ The Prairie Homestead said...

Ha, your top photo made me laugh. ;) Sounds like some great ideas for shady spots! Unfortunately (or fortunately?), we have little to no shade here... With the Wyoming prairie's lack of trees and high elevation sun, shade is a rare treat around here! Thanks for sharing with the Barn Hop this week!

Green Bean said...

@Melinda - Thank you! Nice idea. It doesn't have to be just edibles. Pretty works too!

@Jill - Thank you for visiting!

Treasures Evermore said...

Love the top photo..showed my son...he thought it was cool.

Sounds like a wonderful shade garden happening.


Tammy said...

Hi Michelle, We have a persimmon here the astringent variety and it is in full sun. Totally different growing conditions I assume being in a different part of the world. Our crab apples are in partial shade and have pretty blossom too. The birds love our persimmon, plums, figs, apricots and nectarines. Make sure you hang some water bowls or put a bird bath near the trees you plant and this will encourage bird activity too, it takes them a while to realise its there but once they know they will establish a pattern of coming to it. :)

Green Bean said...

@Treasures: Thank you to you and your son, a fellow Star Wars Lego lover. :)

@Tammy: Awesome! Love to hear about the persimmon. Never thought about a crab apple but that sounds like a great idea. And love the thought about putting bowls of water and such out for the birds. Thank you for sharing!!

Lauren D. McKinney said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog. What about winterberry? I have that in my shade-ish side garden here near Philly. It has shocking orange berries in winter, hence the name.

Green Bean said...

@Lauren -Thank you for visiting. Oh my but that is a gorgeous looking plant!! I looked it up. :) I cannot figure out if it will grow in California. Looks like no but it does give me an idea of plants similar to winterberry that would grow here. Pretty pretty!


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