Bar Harbor Garden Club Meeting Speaker NotesCassie Banning is the manager of Abby Aldridge Rockefeller Garden and McAlpin Farm. She has a degree in horticulture from Cornell the the NY Botanical Gardens School of Professional Horticulture. She moved to MDI in 2013 from Indiana where, for 9 years, she managed the horticulture operation at a museum. There are many different elements involved in shade gardening.
- Full Shade – no direct sun or maybe non-direct. This tends to produce larger leaves, less flowers, and is not as dense.
- Woodland Shade – carpeted in spring ephemerals all growing before leaves come out (like Siberian Squill or Cilla). There is medium and light shade, depending on tree density and type.
- Medium Shade – This is the best of all shade. There is 2 to 4 hours of direct sun early or late in the day.
- Total Shade – no direct sun or indirect sun. Lichens and mosses grow well here.
The Rockefeller Garden has morning shade in the east, and afternoon sun for 2 to 4 hours. In the west, there is morning sun for 6 hours and 2 hours shade in the afternoon. Gardeners there are constantly testing what plants do best in those conditions.
Competition – Trees, with lots of roots, compete with flowers. It is better to water deeper and less often, about 6 to 8 inches deep. This helps produce a healthy deep root system. The exception is moss, which loves stream banks. You would water about 1 inch deep but daily when it's hot. Keep debris removed from it. Moss gets its nutrients from the air.
- A good ph for soil is 6.5. You can have your soil tested through the Analytical Lab and Maine soil Testing https:/umaine.edu/soiltesting lab.
- Spacing Plants is important.
Plant pests – voles and mice – if you notice debris around the base of plants or angled cuts, you have these pests. For slugs, she uses “Sluggo” about every 2 weeks. She uses Milorganite for deer. If you find a bacterial leaf spot, remove the plant. There are sprays to prevent fungal leaf spot but they change the ph. She uses “Green Cure” which is a base (fungi like acidic soil). You can use baking soil and water.
Favorite shade plants
- Rock polypody, and staghorn lichen
- begonias in pots
- water hyacinth, water lettuce, sweet flag are nice in a bowl of water.
- Viburnum and hosta do well together
- Brunnera and Siberian Bugloss and Dixie woodfern (deer do not like brunnera)
- Umbrella plant (darmera peltata)
- royal fern, maidenhair fern, Japanese beech fern, enkianthus, hydrangea (phantom), and Japanese painted fern.
- browallia (compact sapphire) can do full shade.
- Begonia waterfall, begonia grandid
- venus coral bells, stormy seas coral bells, backout coral bells
- perennial geraniums (June and July)
- lavender mist, meadow rue – perrenial
- hypericum bugadoon – St. John's Wart
- Japanese anemone – a bee lover
- toad lily (Blue Wonder and Dark Beauty)