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The trials of dry shade

Gaultheria mucronata and Luzula sylvatica , 2 plants that are actually succeeding in this tough area. I have a long border at one edge of the garden, sitting between the lush shade garden area where the ground retains moisture through much of summer and a very dry stand of woods. The naturally mesic zone stops just a foot or two short of the edge of this border in places. In summer you can see the division clearly, where the grass (weeds) suddenly turns from green to brown. This border is very dry, though something else seems to be going on with the soil, as well, because even with water, most things grow poorly. In the undisturbed area behind the border, further under the trees, little grows except for moss and some sparse salal ( Gaultheria shallon ). And it's not because the shade is too dense under the trees. It's quite nice, dappled sun/shade. In the last 5 years or so, more weedy grasses and vetches have moved in, and a handful of native shrubs and small trees, such a

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