Hello all. One of my cats died recently and I want to plant some
ideal plants over his grave. The problem is the spot receives little
light. I want this spot to be full of colour and smell, with the
possibility of attracting interesting insects such as butterflies. I
live in Ontario so I am also looking for ideal perennial plants which
will survive the cold winters.
Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Tom this is what my son and I did in similar situation. Last May, we
had to bury a very dear old kitty who was here when we moved in 10
years ago. My son and I interred him in a 3-4 ft deep hole located in
the inside-corner of the sidewalk and driveway out in front of the
house. This location only gets late afternoon direct sun and the rest
of the day it only receives tree filtered sunlight. So we selected
and planted a Hydrangea (v.Nikko Blue) above him (thought about
pussywillows); which is doing great. We left enough room between the
shrub and the pavement that we put in some catnip, mums and astilbe.
To this makeshift memorial garden, we also relocated some "Moonbeam"
Coreopsis and daffodils from another flowerbed that needed thinning.
This was divided and planted on both sides of the walk. We could
always add some more catnip or a small variety of Hosta. Looks
pretty good so we will see how this grows.
I second Hydrangea. It'll do well in half shade and can survive
Ontario winter without protection.
The peony is also good for your spot. Though the bloom time is short,
it's beautiful when it does.
The oriental lily is also good if the spot isn't big enough for
shrubs. You can add hosta or fern to cover the groud around lily.
Honestly, I can't see either a hydrangea or a peony blooming well in a an
area the "receives little light." I can think of no perennial that will
give you an extend show of colorful flowers and fragrance in the shade. I
would suggest that you consider a fragrant hosta like Honeybells. It will
do well in low light, blooms, and is fragrant. The flower color is white
and it attracts bees, but not butterflies. Bloom duration is about two to
three weeks. There are many handsome, large hostas that don't have
fragrance. I would suggest Krossa Regal if you are looking for a larger
plant. It has a nice vase-like shape, is a fast grower, has an interesting
texture and color, and sends up flower scapes that can get 5 to 6 feet tall.
The flowers are pale lavender. I have one that is about 7 years old and is
over six feet across and about 3 feet high.
Hosta Honeybells: http://plantsdatabase.com/go/3185 /
Hosta Krossa Regal: http://plantsdatabase.com/go/3199/index.html
I have bought a catnip plant, and will give this a try. This seems
like a fitting plant. I have also planted speedwell, coral bells, and
will give astilbe, queen of the meadow and columbine a try. I have a
rose that has been growing indoors (patiohit) and will see what
happens with this. These plants don't necesarily fill all my
requirements, but from what I have found out should do well in the
Not sure about hosta-there is another one in my garden and it's huge
and not particularly interesting.
Anyway, thanks for the suggestions
As I recall, you said that the area got very little light. Speedwell
(veronica) requires a good deal of light to bloom well. It also is prone to
powdery mildew. Planting it in a low light situation will invite trouble.
The same goes for the rose. You will get very few flowers and increase the
likelihood of fungal diseases by planting in low light. I find that
heuchera (coral bells) does best in part sun, with afternoon shade. I have
some that will be moved next year because they have done poorly in shade. I
have had better luck with tiarella in mostly shady areas. My filipendula
(queen of the meadow) in unremarkable in full shade next to my gold standard
hostas which are thriving. On the other hand, my astilbies do fine in
mostly shade (as well as mostly sun) as long as they are evenly moist at all
times. My tircyrtis (toad lilies) also do best in mostly shade and do
poorly in sunny areas. There are thousands of varieties of hostas from very
tiny to gigantic. While they may not be show stoppers (although the large
ones can qualify), they are reliable, sturdy plants that thrive in a wide
variety of stetting with little care.
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