Oh... I've got a book written by Lois Hole all about edible flowers. She's a Canadian author, and typically offers advice for some of the colder growing zones. I'm not sure how available here book is in the States, but you could always check out www.Amazon.ca.
From memory she recommends nasturtiums (peppery), marigolds (not the French - as they're too bitter) and oh geeze.... I think It's related to the carnation... Dianthus also peppery in flavour.
And of course roses, and poppies (for the seed).
I think most of these are SUN lovers though - but there are climbing nasturtiums so that might work - violets are also edible - I'm thinking old fashioned cupcakes with sugared violets.
Edited by: JWOURMS at: 8/5/2011 (11:07)
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Hi I love perennial shade gardens and find that heuchera does beautifully & provides great dark wine colored leaves that make a good contrast to usual greens. Lady's mantle does well and not too high. My all time favorites in the shade are maiden hair ferns. I don't know why more people don't use ferns as a hosta alternative. Check your library or google for many low growing varieties...Since the advent of google, there isn't a subject I can't find something about...
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I think it's a Japanese Maple, not sure if that makes a difference, it's a fairly small tree... thanks for the suggestion, we have hostas up the wazoo in the back yard, I was looking for something a little smaller.
Even though it looks like you have your answer, I would add that hosta do amazingly well under trees. There are lots of varieties and sizes, and are often planted in rings around trees.
Also, you mentioned your maple tree had branches close to the ground. It is generally recommended that the lowest branch on a maple be 5 feet off the ground. This will help create a gorgeous canopy as the tree grows larger.
violets around here tend to grow in clumps that are not usually deep rooted. If they happen to get a little overboard, they are usually easy enough to thin out, they have never been a major issue for me. For us, periwinkle is a borderline invasive, but I have seen it growing under many shady trees with no obvious signs of damage to the trees
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So I checked online and your periwinkle is what we call creeping myrtle - I love it, and we happen to have a little pot of it. so maybe I can do a combo of the violets and myrtle. Do you think the tree would be OK - they both seem to take over, the tree is well established.
What about periwinkle (vinca minor)? We have it in shady areas and it does well. It's low to the ground, has attractive greenery and purple (or pink - depending on variety) flowers in the early summer. I did a quick search and it looks like it does well in just about every zone as long as it's in the shade. Even does well with part sun in some. I love it because it is extremely low maintenance as well.
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I know we talk a lot about veggies on this board but was hoping for some flower suggestions, if they're edible even better!
My dilemma - I have a small maple tree in my front yard with nothing under it. it's fairly shady so I need something that does well in the shade and the branches start pretty low so it can't be anything that grows over 12 - 18 inches. In the spring there are a couple of daffodils and tulips so I'm OK with that but right now it's just a weed pile. I was thinking of thyme but haven't researched to see how it does in the shade.
I'm in Central NJ, zone 6 or 7, depending on who you ask...
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