My name is Diane, and I live in York, Pennsylvania, in Zone 6b (I think). I have been gardening for about 30 years, but this garden I have been working on for just six seasons. It’s my third garden and my second one with a giant black walnut tree (Juglans nigra, Zones 4–9). These trees pose a particularly thorny problem, as they have a tendency to kill quite a few plant varieties. There are some that can survive the juglone toxicity, though, so there’s enough to work with to create a nice display under the canopy.
As Diane mentioned, gardening under a black walnut tree can be tricky, because it releases a chemical called juglone from its roots that can be harmful to other plants. Just how harmful depends on a lot of factors, so finding what will thrive under your black walnut tree can involve a bit of trial-and-error. But clearly Diane has got it figured out! A lot of plants are thriving in this garden.
Tall perennials and vines extend this narrow bed right up the side of the brick wall.
Annuals, perennials, shrubs, and tropicals mix freely in this garden. The color scheme is firmly focused on reds and pinks, which helps pull the whole space together.
An assortment of coleus and a trailing yellow sweet potato vine (Ipomea batatas, annual) offer lots of long-lasting color from foliage. Growing in containers is also a great way to deal with black walnuts or other trees that are difficult to garden under. Containers act as safe havens from the toxic or just thirsty roots of the trees.
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