Fine Gardening Regional Report

Photo of chelone plants

Plants for Sun and Shade

It was such an honor to participate in the August 2024 Fine Gardening Magazine Regional Report ! I’ve been reading this esteemed publication for years so it’s great fun to be able to contribute something.

Check out the article for some recommendations on plants that are very adaptable to a range of site conditions. I use these in the Northern Virginia/ DC region clay with no soil amendments and no problems!

A few extra notes:

  • I am experimenting with both Carex woodii and Carex socialis in my garden as turf grass substitutes. I’ve put my little plants about 10″ apart but I may get impatient and add even more. I’m hoping they’ll fill in significantly in the next year but, of course, we all know the sleeps, creeps, then leaps pattern.
  • I typically use a cultivar of Ilex glabra because I want a smaller, more compact habit. Last year I found a couple of ‘Forever Emerald’ cultivars and planted them in my garden, but I haven’t found them again since! They look a lot like little ‘Hoogendorns’ right now. Check out this interesting discussion by Michael Dirr on cultivars.
  • I use Chelone so often! You don’t see Chelone glabra as much but I really like the white flowers for something different. All varieties are so tough, they make a nice clump, and deer don’t seem to like them. Such a great plant!

Enjoy the report and the rest of Fine Gardening Issue 218!