Mixing it up in your garden

J.J. Strong
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Choose the right plants for the right places

Each year, there are new gardeners who are not sure of plant varieties that are suitable for sun and shade, so I offer this condensed list for reference purposes.

For sun

Achilles, Alstromia, Allysum saxatile, Anchus italica, Aubrietia, Calcelolaria, Carnations, Centurea, Chrysanthemums, Delphinium, Dianthus, Echinacea, Edelweis, Erumus Lily, Erigeron, Eryngium, Feverfew, Freesias, Gazannia, Globe Thistle, Gypsophila panticula, Helianthemum, Heuchera, Hollyhock, Incarvillea, Iris, Lathyrus latifolius, Linum, Michaelmus Daisy, Penstomen, Phlox, Poppy, Pyrethrum, Red Hot Poker, Salvia nemorosus, Scabious, Cerastium, Statice and Thyme.


For part sun/shade

Acanthus, Alchemelias, Anthemis, Aquilegia, Arabis, Arenaria, Aster alpinus, Bergenia, Campanula, Canterbury Bells, Catmint, Chinese Lantern, Coreopsis, Daisy, Dicentra, Doronicum, Echinacea, Evening Primrose, Foxglove, Gaillardia, Gentiana, Geum, Hemerocullis, Heuchera, Honesty, Hosta, Lavender, Liatris, Lupin, Maltese Cross, Pampas Grass, Pinks, Polyanthus, Primrose, Pruellla, Ranunculus, Saxafrage, Stachys lanata, Stock and Veronica.


For shade

Aconite, Astilbe and Ligularis.


Selecting and planting

Select good, strong, disease-free plants. Water before transplanting from their pots, or containers.

Having previously prepared the bed, make a hole with a trowel.

Most plants can be removed from pots by placing the stem of the plant between the first and second fingers for support.

Turn the pot over and tap the bottom of the pot with the blade or handle of the trowel.

The plant and soil should drop slightly on to the hand holding the stem.

An alternative method is, having placed the stem between two fingers, gently tap the rim of the pot on the edge of a table, bench or bucket, being careful not to damage the foliage of the plant or hit your fingers.

Remove the pot. With both hands, turn the plant upright and plant in the hole.

Gently firm the soil around the plant and water.



There is no doubt the Laburnum, or Golden Chain as it is often called, is a spectacular sight all over the city with their golden flowers on display.

There are two Laburnum species originating in Southern Europe that were introduced to North America in colonial times.

The L. Alpinum (Scotch Laburnum), with glossy hairless green leaves, is hardy and the flowers last a long time.

The L. Anagryroides (Common Laburnum) is later flowering and has more hairy leaves on the underside and large chains of flowers called racenes.

L. watereri (L. Vossii) is a hybrid of the Scotch and Common Laburnum and was bred sometime before 1864. It is much hardier than the parents, has dense growth and larger flowers. This is the one you will find on sale.

Simply plant in the normal manner, in a hole large enough to take the existing root system. They must be well staked or wired to prevent the tree from rocking and enable it to become well-established.

If a bare-root specimen does not produce leaves the first year, inform the supplier.

The laburnum is notorious for being stubborn as a mule. It is not unknown for a newly planted bare-root tree to go through a whole season without showing a leaf and then next year to be full of growth. A sign that all is well, yet dormant, is the firm green wood.

The seeds are poisonous and should not be eaten.   

J.J. Strong is a longtime member

of the Newfoundland Horticultural Society. 

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