UT Shade Trial Garden | Volunteer Gardener

UT Shade Trial Garden | Volunteer Gardener



– I'm always looking
for spectacular plants for my shade garden. But my space is becoming more limited, so I've come down to the
UT Gardens in Jackson. In just a minute we'll
meet up with Jason Reeves who's going to show us
some spectacular plants like this gold-leafed forsythia. Well Jason, thanks for
being with us this morning. The first thing I want to talk about are these hydrangeas, which
are really heavily budded up. Tell me a little bit about these. – This is Endless Summer, the original. All the Endless Summer,
including other cultivars such as Duly and Pity Mac
will flower a new growth. But they really need to be fed after they've froze back to the ground. So that's what I've done to this one. – Okay, so these were frozen this winter. We've had a really cold
winter so this died all the way back to the ground? – Absolutely, down to the ground. And we cut it all back
and then I came in shortly after with just some general
purpose triple 15 fertilized and sprinkled around it
and you see the end result. – Well one of the things
you guys have a number of here in the garden are some of these new varieties of heuchera. And I know every year
there are more and more heuchera that are added to the market. But what are some of the ones that you have had good luck with here? – This is Princess Silver and we've had it in the garden for about three years now. And when you say new,
I kind of lump things in the last four, five, six years. – Right. – We've had to have it in
the garden for a couple years for me to actually be
able to recommend it. And this Princess Silver
is certainly showing out. – Well, and that's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for too. To come to the UT Garden here at Jackson or any of the other
locations, it's an opportunity for me and everybody to
see plants that have been growing in the ground
for three or four years, and know how some of these newer varieties are going to perform in the garden before we plant 'em ourselves. – Absolutely. That's what we're here for. – As I said, my space is kind
of limited in my own garden. So I don't want to plant
a whole bunch of things that I don't know are going to thrive. – Sure. – You also have a really interesting fern down here by your feet. And it's one that I don't see very often. – Yeah, I don't see
the Japanese Beech Fern offered for sale, but
it's worth seeking out. Very drought tolerant once
established in a shade garden. And I love the different
contrasts and the texture in the foliage and the tips on it. I saw a lot of green
where it's darker down in. – Right, so it's a great
texture in the garden. And a little color variation, even though it's a variation on green. – Absolutely. – I think many times we forget
that green is a color too. And there's always something interesting you can do with textures and things. One other group of plants
that I'm really fascinated by are these pulminerias that have the funny spotted and variegated leaves. I just think they're so
interesting in the shade garden. Even when they're not in bloom. But do you have any tips or tricks for which pulminaria's do
well here in the south? – (Jason) Well there's definitely some that do better than others. And those that have the
species longnopholia, meaning long, slender leaf,
are much better suited for the heat and humidity of the south. And there's cultivars like
Diana Clare and Trevi Fountain that do really well. So seek those out with that species or hybrids of that species. – (Troy) Of longnopholia. – (Jason) Correct. – (Troy) They're more
tolerant of our humidity. I've noticed in my garden, that they don't get the powdery mildew that some of the other varieties– – (Jason) That's right. You know, longnopholia
is again a great shade perennial that blooms early in the spring. So what you're looking at now has already finished flowering. – (Troy) Right. – (Jason) But even after
those flowers are gone, you've got that beautiful foliage throughout the summertime. – (Troy) Yeah so the
flowers come up early. And they're almost, for
lack of a better comparison, almost like a little Virginia Bluebell or something like that. In shades of pink and purple. And then this beautiful
foliage comes on after that. – (Jason) Absolutely, you know
I often see bees frequenting it which, you know in March,
there's not a lot out there. – (Troy) Yeah really early. Not a lot. For the bees in March and early April. So that's a great thing
to have in the garden. – (Jason) It will also spread
slowly and will seed around in the garden as well, which is an added attribute to the plant. – (Troy) And one thing I
like about the new heucheras or coral bells is that we've got this beautiful colored foliage
in a lot of the new ones. Which ones have you had
great luck with here? – (Jason) Well you're
looking at Solar Power. And I really like it for that gold foliage with that little bit of burgundy
stripe that it has to it. With a lot of them, I
think they appreciate just a little bit of
morning sun and this gets just a bit here. It keeps it colorful. We'll go look at Delta
Dawn in just a few minutes which is also a really nice one. So that bright foliage, yellow with a little bit of burgundy
or red, kind of adds a nice contrast to the foliage. – (Troy) Yeah and especially
in the shade garden where flowers aren't
always a prominent thing. It's nice to have, you
know with our hostas and our heucheras and other
plants, to get some color into the shade garden by
using colored foliage. – (Jason) Absolutely. You know most of our shade loving plants or perennials are spring blooming. And once they're finished, you really want to concentrate on the beautiful foliage that it has throughout the summer. – You've also trialed a
number of hostas down here. And this one, obviously,
has done very well. Cathedral Windows? – That's right. Yeah it's done really well for us and multiplied fairly rapidly
for a large leaf hosta. – (Troy) Right. And these Cathedral
Windows came out of a plant a few years ago called Guacamole. And Guacamole is a great
plant for the south. And almost everything
that's come out of it. Fried Green Tomatoes and Fried Bananas, and this one Cathedral Windows. And the thing that I've loved
about it in my own garden is that it does bulk up really quickly. Where a lot of those big hostas are slow. – (Jason) Yeah this would
be it's third spring. And from a one gallon
pot, it probably just had two to three plants in it. – (Troy) Right. – (Jason) So it has grown rather fast. – (Troy) So and this is
almost, you know, three foot to almost four foot wide clump now just in a few seasons time. So where sometimes those
old fashioned blue hostas, those big ones, can take
five or six years sometimes here in the south. – (Jason) Yes. – To really bulk up and get big. These do it in a hurry and give you some real presence in the shade garden. Alright, I've known you long enough and been on enough shopping trips with you to know that you love this plant. So tell us about this. – I do. This is Edgworthia, also
known as paper bush. And yeah, I'm trying to collect all the different cultivars of it. It's in the daphne
family which we all know daphne can be difficult to grow. – Right. – But the Edgworthia's
do quite well for us. – Okay. So what happens? I mean, obviously it has
beautiful green leaves. And I kind of like that
it has that broad foliage and almost sort of rhododendron like. – (Jason) It is, that large
leaf is a really nice contrast in the shade garden. And I like the way when
it rains, the water actually beads up on the foliage. But really it comes into it's glory in late January, early
February when it flowers. Now, the flower buds
actually form in the fall. And they hang on the plant all winter long and begin to turn up just slightly in late winter and begin to bloom. – (Troy) So it's one of those
late winter flowering plants that gives us some interest
at a time of year when there's not a whole lot else
going on in our gardens. – (Jason) Right. Correct. It is fragrant as well. And then when the leaves
fall off in the fall, you have the coarse texture. It's a coarse stem, kind of a
little bit of red cast to it. So it's added interest
during the winter as well. – Yeah, I really like it in
my garden in the winter time as much as I do in the summer. – Yes. – Because, it's got that stemmy sort of architectural appearance that just makes it really interesting. – Absolutely. And speaking of winter,
it's a plant that kind of marginal if we have
a really cold winter, if we get down to zero. So it's really best spring
or early summer planted to get it well established. – While it's warm. – Absolutely. Before we get a cold winter. – Okay, so plant in the spring. Keep it pretty well watered, probably? – Yes. – That first season, and then it should be well enough established
that in a normal winter it would come through just fine. – Absolutely. – (Troy) So not all
shade is created equally. What do you take into consideration when you're finding locations
for plants in the garden here? – Pretty much all plants,
including shade plants, benefit from some sunlight. It's really best to have morning sun, because it's not as intense. So three, four hours of morning sun is ideal almost all shade plants. Especially a blooming or
flowering shade plant. – Right. But even plants like
hostas that we grow mostly for foliage, a lot of the ferns, even though some of them will
grow in pretty deep shade, you're probably going to get more growth and some faster growth
out of plants if they have just a little bit of sun during the day. – Absolutely. So here this Annabelle hydrangea, which is getting about three hours of morning sun. And you can see how it's budded up. – Sure. – So in deep shade you
would still have flowers, but not as many flowers. – Right. And one thing that I
noticed, you said this gets about three hours of morning sun. Now, my Annabelles at my home garden are out in almost full sun. And I noticed that the
flowers on this plant, are a little bit smaller
but there are more of them. – Yes. – Whereas, on my plants,
the flowers are bigger but not necessarily quite as many of them. So you get a little bit of a trade off but just as big a show. – (Jason) Absolutely. – (Troy) It just varies a little bit in the size of the flowers. – (Jason) One thing to
keep in mind with a plant that likes some shade that
you're giving it more sun, is it maybe requires more water if it's in a sunnier location. But you also have to keep in
mind if it's near tree roots. It's also gonna require more water. – (Troy) Right. – (Jason) So there's a lot that plays into the placement of a plant. – Sure, and most of us
who do garden in the shade are gardening amongst the tree roots. That's why we have a
shade garden, is because there are big trees associated with it. Sometimes it might be
the shade of a building, but you do have to take those tree roots into account and how
close to the tree you are, may require more watering,
or less watering, depending on that distance
and how many roots you're planting through. – Absolutely and the type of the tree. You know it's a lot harder
to grow a plant under a river birch or a maple,
than it is an oak tree. Because the maple and river
birch have shallow roots. Whereas the oak tree tends to go deep. – Right. Deep roots, sure. Well Jason promised you
Delta Dawn, and here she is. This is a spectacular heuchera. – (Jason) It is and you see
how it really brightens up the dark spot under this
ace of hearts red bud. And really brings your attention to the spot in the garden. – (Troy) It does. And the leaves on this one
are particularly large. And really showy. And I noticed this one
doesn't have as many blooms on it as some of them do. But is that a good thing or a bad thing? – (Jason) Well, it all
depends how you look at it. But yeah this one doesn't
have very many flowers and the ones that are there
are sort of the limy green that blend in with the foliage. But, look at the foliage. I mean, you're really
growing it for that foliage. And some of those leaves
are bigger than your hand so it really adds a different texture. – (Troy) Right. This truly is like many of
our hostas, a foliage plant. – (Jason) Absolutely. – Well thank you Jason for letting us come down and visit today. I know I always enjoy coming down here and visiting at the UT Gardens. When can people come? – The gardens here are open
daylight to dark year round. And for you to come out and
see what's doing well here and take that information back home and apply it to your landscape. – Alright and there's always
something going on here. Whether it's just the gardens for you to wander through, or an event. And for a list of those events
you can visit our website, volunteergardener.org. (light upbeat music) – [Voiceover] For inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and garden projects, visit our website at
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