Planting My Native Shade Garden

On Saturday, we went to the native plant sale hosted by the John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. I was like a kid in a candy store! I wish I could’ve taken one of everything! But, The Wellness Wife believes in all things in moderation, so we didn’t go overboard.

Virginia Native Shade Garden Plants, green and gold, common blue violet, confederate violet, wild blue phlox, sensitive fern, lady fern

I had been looking forward to this sale all month. I came away with some great plants for the garden in my backyard. It’s my favorite garden because it’s the one we see out of our kitchen window. We’ve been letting it go back to nature the last few years. Our aim is to fill it in with natives that will take over so it will be a nice little low-maintenance shade garden.

Here are the details of our haul. Think about the understory of a forest – ferns, shrubs, and wildflowers. We got a little of each!

Pinxter Azalea Virginia Native Shade Garden Plants

Pinxter Azalea

Common Blue Violet: Spring flowers, sun to light shade, moist to dry soil, spreads quickly, attracts butterflies

Confederate Violet: Spring flowers, sun to light shade, average soil, spreads quickly

Green and Gold: Spring/summer flowers, shade to morning sun, moist soil, spreads quickly, attracts butterflies

Lady Fern: Shade to part sun, moist to wet soil

Pinxster Azalea: Spring flowers, part shade, moist to dry soil, attracts birds and bees

Sensitive Fern: Sun to shade, moist to wet soil, spreads easily in moist areas, attracts birds

Sweet Shrub: Spring flowers, sun to part shade, moist soil, attracts birds and butterflies

Wild Blue Phlox: Spring flowers, sun to part shade, moist soil, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds

I also transplanted some wild columbine from the side of the house to the back. We are getting a lot of rain this week, so hopefully, all of these plants will establish nicely. I’ll give updates here and on Facebook.

Your local native plant society should have a listing of nurseries that offer a selection of native plants. I encourage you to support these businesses for helping the environment by selling natives.

To me, native gardening is very rewarding. I feel like I am returning my little patch of land back to the way it is supposed to be. If you plant natives in the appropriate light and soil conditions, they are hands-off plants. It’s their native environment, so let Mother Nature water them. I like low maintenance.

I still have a lot of established non-natives in the garden, but I don’t plan to buy any new non-natives. April is almost over, but I hope you will consider the April Native Plant Challenge year ’round.


Source: Virginia Native Plant Society – John Clayton Chapter, spreadsheet prepared for Native Plant Sale, 2014

The Chicken Chick

8 thoughts on “Planting My Native Shade Garden

  1. Tammy

    I would love to have a shade area for a small garden with flowers, but here in Florida, thats almost impossible, unless you have the large live oaks in your yard. Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I’ve pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

    1. Lisa Post author

      I feel your pain. The front of our house feels like the surface of the sun and is very hard to establish things. That’s why the shade garden in the back has been so much fun. Daylillies do well in the front of our house, but they are not native. The Brown Eye Susan that I planted last year seemed to have established nicely.

  2. debbie

    Wonderful! I can’t wait to see the updated pictures once everything is established. The birds & bees will be very happy.

    1. Lisa Post author

      I’ll be sure to post pictures in a couple of months. I’m sure all this rain we’re getting is going to help! It feels like a rainforest here this morning!

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