What to plant under a tree
July 24, 2005 9:58 PM   Subscribe

I have a garden bed underneath a deciduous tree (a nectarine it so happens). At the moment it looks great, there are jonquils, freesias and all sorts of other winter and spring flowering bulbs coming up all over (this is southern hemisphere). From about November through until May however, it's basically barren. Is there such a thing as a shade loving, low water use ground cover that small bulbs could successfully grow through?

I was going to plant dichondra, but I was hoping for something a little more exciting than lawn - something that flowers.

Any hints?
posted by wilful to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
This list of shade-loving plants from Annie's Annuals (a Northern California specialty plant nursery with a fabulous selection) is worth a look. Some of the plants listed are Aussie natives, and they all do well in California's similar Mediterranean climate, so there should be something worthwhile.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:18 AM on July 25, 2005

Pachysandra will let bulbs come through, but it can be invasive. Personally, I use mint as ground cover - it will grow anywhere, sun or shade, it's not big enough in the spring to stop bulbs coming through, it interacts well with hostas, it smells great when you cut it, and, best of all, you have an endless supply all summer long for mojitos.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:19 AM on July 25, 2005

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