Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Smallest Shade Garden Ever

Many years ago I had an all shade garden, really more of a woodland garden, with Jack-in-the Pulpit, Lilly of the Valley, Bloodroot, Jacobs Ladder, tons of violets, Dutchman's Breeches, hosta, Virginia Bluebells, Forget-Me-Nots, Solemon's Seal, wild Phlox, and many more that I cannot even remember the common names.

In my previous home to the one I am in now, I had a more traditional shade garden, with the Hostas, Astilbe, Hellebores, Thalictrum, Rue Anemone, Ginger, Aruncus Diocus, Ligualaria, Trillium, Aquilegia Canadensis, Lobelia Cardinalis, various Hostas (one called Sum and Substance that would fill my present yard) and on and on, many more that I would have to spend time recalling.

It has been a long time since I have had any shade in which to plant.  However, now I have this small strip along the north side of my house.  It has been a delimma because there is a path down the middle and small planting areas on each side.  I have a grass called Carex Ice Fountains on one side all the way from the back to the front.  It will thrive in part shade and has a varigation in the grass leaf.  It is not totally carefree, requiring some controlling in this small area.  However, it is very attractive as a smaller grass (18") in this tight area.

On the other side of this small, long area I have my "Pop" hostas, Halcyon and August Moon interspersed with Bleeding Heart (Dicentra Spectabilis), Ostrich ferns, and Nepeta Subsessilis.  The Ostrich ferns and nepeta add some intermittent height to this long strip.  I usually interplant Caladiums for the summer.  As we move further back there are variegated Solemon's Seal, Astilbe Chineses Pumila, and Hosta Patriot.  On the ground is Pachysandra Green Sheen which glows in this environment.

I do put some annuals in this area, impatiens on the ground and more sun tolerant plantings in the baskets that hang on the fence. My Unique Hydrangeas are also part of this long planting strip. I realize by going back over my planting history in the shade how much I miss some of the plants that I no longer have the room to accomodate. We will revisit this area again in the spring.