Forest gardening

Asked April 23, 2017, 2:25 PM EDT

I have woods and a creek behind my house that I would like to add some year-round plant color in. What would be good no-maintenance shade plants to introduce. I also have LOTS of deer, gound hogs, etc.

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Here are a few deer-resistant choices to consider for a shaded area. These bloom at different times of the year (with the exception of the ferns, which don't bloom but look nice throughout the growing season).

Helleborus sp. (Lenten or Christmas rose)
Pulmonaria sp. (Lungwort)
Epimedium sp. (Barrenwort)
Brunnera sp. (False forget-me-not)
Tiarella cordifolia (Foam flower)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)
Monarda didyma (Bee balm)
Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet shrub)
Anemone x hybrid (Japanese anemone)
Dryopteris marginalis (Wood fern)
Athyrium goeringianum (Japanese painted fern)

You can also search for native plant recommendations at the Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center: