Shade Perennials Presentation

Saturday, September 20, 2014 by

Shade Perennials Presentation

Saturday, September, 20, 2014

This presentation By Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI, will focus on a few shade plants that are good performers, not just new plants that have not been trialed. The adage, “All new plants are not good and all good plants are not new” holds true, especially for shade plants.

Defining shade garden conditions
It is most important to define what shade is when questioned about shade plant recommendations. There are many types of shade situations, such as dappled shade, indirect sunlight, morning sunlight, midday sun, or evening sunlight. Available light and the intensity change throughout the day and through the growing season all matter

There are countless gradations to be considered. Soils are also an important factor in choosing plants; soil types vary from rich, moisture retentive to competitive, dry soils. Consumers need to know a plant’s preferences for light, soil moisture and maintenance. Are they willing to provide extra irrigation or soil modifications to improve conditions for the plant? For example, it may take many years of amending soils to achieve desirable conditions for moisture-sensitive plants.

Know the plant and understand its needs. What light intensity does it prefer, and what will it tolerate? What is the pH and preferred soil type? What is the preferred soil moisture level; will it tolerate root competition? Does the plant have special needs: deadheading, frequent division, staking? Will it be a clump-former, or will it spread?


Mark Dwyer – Biography
Mark has been the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI for the past 16 years.  He directs the continued maintenance and improvement of this 20 acre botanical resource with a talented grounds staff and many dedicated volunteers.  Mark previously worked at Fernwood Botanical Garden (Niles, MI) and as a landscape designer in Appleton, WI.  Mark has degrees in landscape architecture (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana) and urban forestry (UW-Stevens Point).  Mark’s true passion is obtaining, growing, observing and photographing all types of plants.

Klehm Arboretum and Rotary Gardens are members of the American Horticulture Society and offer reciprocal admission to their members.

Mark Dwyer’s presentation is hosted by the John and Pauline Cook Horticultural Lecture Series

Members: Free
Non-Members: Included with admission.
Presentation will be held in the Clarcor Pavilion on the west end of parking lot.

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