I have one very shady bed that is a sea of Bouncing Bette/Soapwort in the summer, which is fine because I need to do absolutely nothing to it — if only the rest of the yard was like that! However, I would like to plant some native shade-loving plants (Red & White Trillium, Trout Lily, Fire Pick, various ferns, etc.) but I don’t know exactly what constitutes enough shade versus part-shade (here’s one definition, I’ve seen others). Right now, there are no leaves on the big cherry, so it’s pretty sunny on this bed. When the tree leafs out,  it’ll be quite shady. These natives are spring bloomers, so I wonder if this bed will be too sunny for them early in the year?

Morning vs. afternoon shade.

I’m starting to suspect this area will be fine for the natives, but I’m probably going to have to kill off some of the Bouncing Bette (which, I recently discovered, is classed as an invasive weed in some states) first, so the plants can establish themselves. I tried to sow poppies among the Bette a couple of years ago, without any success.  Even the usually foolproof tulips & daffodils had a hard time blooming there the past few years. (I gave up, and transplanted all those bulbs elsewhere last autumn.) Still, I see you can make soap from the roots, so maybe I’ll dig up a bunch and we can experiment.


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