I am looking for some evergreen shrub/bush/small tress suggestions to plant along the front of our house. I am originally from Australia and have little idea of plants etc here in the US so any help or suggestions appreciated, and I'm happy to try something people might think is unusual if it meets the requirements. We are in Zone 5 (Northern Indiana) and the spot we'd like to plant them is part shade in summer and pretty much full shade all winter. We'd be looking at around the 3 to 5 foot range in height and are happy to prune them thought I'd prefer them to not need pruning all the time but also not to be so slow growing they take years to reach the desired size. I am not planning on trimming to fancy shapes so the plants don't have to be hedging style plants, just keep their leaves all year around. [more inside]
I have a nice 4' long fluorescent grow light set up in my study. I am busy starting up plants for spring and it is on 14 hours a day. The light is working perfectly and seedlings are growing beautifully, but I am wondering about any possible damage it might do to my eyes, as I spend many hours a day in the office working. The hood that came with the light is very narrow so a lot of light reflects up into the room, though I am not looking directly into it, the reflected light is always visible out of the corner of my eye. Should I be worried about it? My main concern is exposing my eyes and skin to UV light and damage, but could there be other things I should be worried about too. Can I fix the hood by say sticking some foil on it so less light bounces up into the room and is directed downwards? Or should I just move it to another room? I have no other heated rooms in my house at the moment it could go in so I worry about the seedlings Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
I could really use some help identifying some plants that have popped up in my garden. [more inside]
Looking for websites or book recommendations for a gardening new to North American Zone 5 gardening. [more inside]