week we visit Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.
Tracy Johnson-Crum is the activities director at Grove Park
Inn and introduces us to this beautiful resort nestled in
the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grove Park has been
in operation for 90 years. It was built by Dr. Grove, a
pharmacist, and multi-millionaire from Paris, Tennessee
as a get away for friends. Grove Park Inn today is an incredible
resort with a 40,000 square foot subterranean spa, a Donald
Ross golf course and stunning trees and plants. Maggie Young
is the horticulturist in charge and responsible for the
care and maintenance of the landscaping.
Today we'll discuss how plants survive
in sunny versus shady conditions and suggest plants ideal
for shade and plants ideal for sun. Plants that are reported
to require "full sun" or plants reported to require
"full shade" don't always require these conditions.
Plants are amazingly adaptable. If you think about sun as
an energy source, it can be compared to nutrition for people.
People can live with a wide range of energy or calories.
Plants too can survive in a wide variety of situations.
PH or the acidity of the soil or water availability may
vary widely but light is a critical part of a plants success.
With it or without it plants either thrive or survive. Some
need a lot of sunlight, others do better with little direct
sunlight. The shape of the leaves will often tell us if
the plant likes its conditions.
Persian Shield in this setting is an excellent
example. This plant has leaves that are purple, almost florescent,
with areas that have a silver-blue tint. It was chosen for
this location because Maggie wanted its' color to break
up the surrounding green of the trees. In this part of the
country this plant is an annual, in other parts of the country
it is a tender perennial, even a shrub. These will grow
to 4 feet tall, it has a soft stem and the leaves can be
up to 8 inches long. In this location, part of the plants
are under the tree and in the shade, others aren't protected
by the tree and out in the direct sun. It has much stronger
colors in the shade, the plant looks healthy; it is scrawny
and appears to be barely surviving in the sun.
We view two different containers, another
example of sun versus shade. One container is in the shade
most of the day but receives bright sun late in the afternoon,
the other is in the shade all day. The Impatiens in the
container that receives afternoon sun have leaves that look
a little yellow, an indication that they are receiving too
much sun. In this same container are other plants, specifically
a new type of Impatiens, New Guinea Impatiens, that thrive
in more sun. They are much healthier looking, yet receive
the same amount of sun as the normal Impatiens. Placed lower
in this container is Becopa, which is a cascading annual
with small white flowers. Becopa likes full sun or at least
several hours per day of direct sun and it is doing well.
Also in this container is Blue Fan Flower, Scavolla and
it too is doing well with ample sun. We next look at a similar
container with similar plants, the only difference is that
this container is in deep shade. The regular Impatiens are
getting a little leggy but are looking good, they don't
have yellow leaves like those in the other container that
receives more sun. The New Guinea Impatiens are ok but not
as floriferous and look dwarfed by comparison. They stay
smaller because of lack of light. The Becopa has no flowers
versus the container in sun that had many flowers. The Scavolla
also looks puny. Plants may survive without proper sun or
shade but to thrive proper sunlight must exist.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea Quercafolia
is a handsome shrub that thrives in the shade but will do
well in the sun as well. It has awesome red foliage in the
fall and exfoliating bark which adds interest in the fall
and winter. In the summer the coarse textured leaf draws
attention and in late summer it puts out a beautiful panicle
of flowers. It grows to about 6 feet tall. If placed in
full sun it seems to produce more blooms. However the leaves,
in the sun, are much smaller than a similar plant growing
in the shade.
In drought stricken parts of the country
shade can provide an invaluable source for keeping your
garden cool and well watered. Trees and shrubs can provided
needed shade. They also pull moisture out of the soil and
release it into the air, cooling the surrounding area. An
arbor, trellis or vines will also provide shade but generally
speaking they're not as effective as large trees. A large
tree can pull several hundred gallons of water out of the
ground and release some back into the air in one day. Some
trees are more water efficient than others. Trees like Ash,
Oak, and Walnut in particular save water. Understory trees, e back into the air in one day. Some
trees are more water efficient than others. Trees like Ash,
Oak, and Walnut in particular save water. Understory trees,
trees grown underneath larger trees, are generally less
efficient. Plants like Dogwood and Beech aren't as water
efficient as others. Trees are particularly effective across
hard surfaces. Hard surfaces heat up quickly and warm surrounding
areas, causing stress to plants in these areas. Trees allow
these areas to be cooler. Use caution when selecting plants
for underneath these areas and utilize plants that thrive
in low light and low water conditions.
Finding plants with color for these conditions
is a problem since plants that love shade often don't flower
and the flowers that might bloom in the shade are normally
Annuals. Annuals are labor intensive, they must be planted
each year. Variegated plants are a good choice for this
situation. They offer color in the shade and are low maintenance.
The Variegated plants are Perennials, they come back year
One example, Lamium or Variegated Ivy
is a tough plant. It isn't as aggressive as standard Ivy,
yet is very attractive.
Sweet Flag looks like Leriope or Monkey
Grass. It has a finer texture, isn't as upright but has
a nice strong variegation.
Daphne Odora or Winter Daphne, Marginata
is close cropped and has yellow margins on the edge. It
is called Winter Daphne because it blooms in January, February
and has a great pink blossom that is very fragrant. It has
year round interest. It may be difficult to establish, well
drained soil is important. Plant it a little above ground
level, dig up the surrounding soil, bring in some soil and
place the plant on top of the soil. This should keep water
away from the roots. In drought conditions water it in the
summer just to keep it moist.
Another way to bring color into a shady
area is to put plants in containers. That way if there is
too much sun or not enough sun the container and plants
can be moved to accommodate their needs. Maggie has utilized
Double Impatiens, with variegation, in a shade container.
The term double is sometimes confusing to gardeners. Double
doesn't mean two flowers, instead it means more than one
layer of petals. These are considered Impatiens because
as the seed pods mature they start to become brittle, if
touched they explode, the seeds are impatient to leave the
pod. This is an outstanding bedding plant, but requires
a good amount of water and loves the shade.
Maggie has used Impatiens in several unusual
environments on this property. In one case she had a tree
stump left in the ground. A stump grinder could have been
used to completely take out the stump. Instead, Maggie turned
this eye sore into a container. She hollowed the stump,
filled it with potting soil, then planted Impatiens. To
hollow it she first used a chainsaw, then a hatchet, then
picked out parts with her hands. This can be done with an
old, rotten stump or a new stump. To add to this beautiful
picture, Maggie planted Impatiens on the ground as well.
It ties the two together, adding height and more presence
in the garden.
Impatiens come in a wide variety of colors
and flower types. Maggie shows us a bi-colored variety that
has two different colors of petals. They range from clear
white to almost florescent pinks and oranges. The little
spur on the back of the flower gives away the fact that
they are Impatiens. To keep these looking good they need
to be moist most of the time, don't let them dry out. She
feeds them every two weeks with Miracle-Gro and pinches
them when they start getting tall. Pinch the top off and
they will continue to bush out. In one container Maggie
has planted them not only on the top but on the sides as
well. The edges are filled with Moss, she then makes holes
in the sides and plants Impatiens and Vinca. Plants are
trailing down the side providing a hanging garden effect.
Another place one finds shade in our yards
is under large trees. In these areas Maggie has hung planters
from the large trees. She screwed a bracket to the tree
and then hung the container from that. Some would fear screwing
into the tree, but it doesn't damage the tree. If one were
to girdle the tree, put something all the way around the
tree, not allowing it to expand in circumference, that would
cause damage. In these containers Maggie has planted Becopa
which cascades over the edge and Caladiums. The Becopa normally
likes more sun but is doing OK in this environment, it is
even blooming. Most of the color comes from the leaves of
the Caladiums. She has turned a normally unattractive area
into one that is spectacular.
Georgia this week visits with Mark Mariani,
a noted landscape developer, at Mark's beautiful estate.
Mark introduces us to an Allay. Allay is a French word that
basically means a lined roadway or pathway. One typically
sees them in formal gardens. In Mark's case, to create his
Allay, he has utilized Hornbeams. There are two types of
Hornbeams, European and American, he has used American.
He has pleached them, meaning cut them very sharp, very
straight and cut the tops straight. He also used Barberry
because he likes the red color and it grows higher than
the Ilex, which is the Japanese Holly. To contrast nicely
he uses as a base, beige gravel. It all provides a layered
look. The Hornbeams become like sentinels, guiding the pathway.
It leads ones eye to a statue - one of the four seasons
(fall harvest) at the end of the pathway. Additionally there
are two cherubs, one for his son, one his daughter, which
represent when they were born. These look spectacular at
night when lit up. There is a path off the Allay that leads
to the tennis court and through to the orchard. Mark likes
symmetry, he likes for things to be straight on, crisp.
This provides a perfect view and goes straight through to
Mark has done a wonderful job, he has
created a spectacular view. This is a beautiful, exquisite,
relaxing spot in a wonderful landscape. Thanks Mark, for
showing it to us.
We've talked about shade plants, we now
address plants that thrive in the sun. We receive many emails
and phone questions about plants that will tolerate full,
bright sun. Maggie shows use plants ideal for this environment.
Bidens Ferulifolia, Bidens looks very
much like a Red Leaf Coreopsis. The flower smells a bit
like honey. It's sprawling, often creeping into other plants.
To keep it under control, Maggie uses a weed eater. In this
case the plant borders the lawn and there isn't a barrier
between the flower bed and the lawn. When it starts to creep
into the lawn she uses the weed eater and cuts it back.
On the other side it borders a rock wall, then asphalt.
It cascades over the wall and provides a nice foil against
Behind the Bidens is planted Victoria
Blue Salvia. The Victoria Blue is heat tolerant, upright
and compliments the Bidens very well. The strong blue against
the strong yellow is striking. As well, the change of form
from upright to rounded makes a beautiful combination.
Mexican Sunflower, Tithonia provides a
vibrant, bold look in any garden. Its blossom is a strong
orange and it has velvety green leaves. It likes full sun,
moderate moist soil and will tolerate humidity. These can
be started from seed, Maggie started with a four inch plant.
Because it is tall and has such a strong color it can tend
to overwhelm everything else in a garden. Maggie likes to
pair it with Cosmos because it is a similar height and the
white flowers and pink of Cosmos goes well with the orange
of the Mexican Sunflower. It will grow to 4-6 feet tall
and is a gorgeous plant. White Fly and Leaf spot could be
a problem towards the end of the season but generally it
outgrows most of its problems.
Mandavilla is a great plant, actually
a vine, for full sun and a lot of heat. It blooms late,
the temperatures need to warm. Typically this plant is thought
of as a tropical, a Perennial vine, but will grow in cooler
climates as an Annual. Maggie uses a slow release fertilizer,
a 14-14-14, when planting and that will take it through
the season. It is a twiner, it needs help to support itself.
Maggie uses a stake and lets the plant wrap itself around.
Once up, she has fishing line or nylon twine available for
the plant to attach itself. The twine isn't visible, it
looks like the plant is supporting itself, it loops around
the twine, providing the needed support.
Galardia Grandiflora, Blanket Flower likes
heat, well drained soil and full sun. It has an extra long
bloom period for a Perennial. Once the bloom is finished
the seed head is also spectacular.
Begonias and Lantana are "bread and
butter" full sun Annuals. This bed is not irrigated
and in full sun, as well, these plants are next to asphalt
and heat radiates into this area. Maggie used Bronze Leaf
Begonias because they do well in full sun. She chose Lantana
because it is drought tolerant. These plants provide color
all summer. In this area people drive by in cars rather
than walking, thus something with a bold impact, something
large, with a simple color scheme is needed.
Sedum, Autumn Joy provides multiple seasons
of interest and it is very tough and durable. Maggie likes
this variety because it blooms late, August, September,
even into October. The clusters are beautiful. As they mature
they open and turn bright pink. They attract Butterflies
and Bees. In the winter, when the heads dry they turn brown,
almost black. It is an beautiful, unusual plant with four
seasons of interest.
Dr. Rick thanks Maggie for showing us
plants that survive in sun or shade and plants that thrive
in sun and plants that thrive in shade. We know from the
phone calls and emails we receive that this is a subject
of interest to our viewers. Maggie has provided answers
to many often asked questions.
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