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Author’s Plant Tips

Evelyn Hadden, Author of Hellstrip Gardening

Behnke Blog readers competed for a copy of Evelyn Hadden’s new book Hellstrip Gardening and our winner was Pat McNees, who wrote that she came to the store to pick it up immediately and loved it. Congrats to Pat!

Evelyn was at the Beltsville location Saturday morning talking plants and signing books, and was asked for plant tips for specific conditions. She sent us these lists of plants, the first ones that came to her mind.

Low-growing Groundcovers for Deep Shade

  • lily of the valley
  • false strawberry (waldsteinia, a native), wild ginger (asarum canadense is the native, there’s also a European)
  • deadnettle (lamium)
  • foamflower (tiarella, many varieties)
  • if it’s damp, sweet woodruff (galium)
  • if it’s contained by curbs/pavement, mints

Ornamentals for Part Shade (You can put them at edges where they get more light, they can be islands surrounded by the sea of groundcovers (see book for more details):

  • coralbells (heuchera, many varieties, can take dry shade)
  • barrenwort (epimedium, many varieties, can take dry shade)
  • wild geranium (geranium, many varieties, can take dry shade)
  • blue-eyed grass (sysirinchium)
  • if it’s damp, sweet flag (acorum)
  • can also use different ferns and carexes as islands or spreading groundcovers, depending on species.

ev susan at behnkes

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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