Thursday, May 28, 2009

GBDW - Shade, Shade, Shade! :-)

Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop
Made for the Shade!

I love the ideas these people have for our participation and interaction! Ever since I began my garden blog, I've found postings by gardeners in each of their meme topics SO informative and helpful! I think you will, too. Please follow the link provided above for a list of the various Memes and the people that have participated so far in this one! Follow the links and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Now, the subject of Shade is one in which I could hardly wait to sink my trowel and dirty hands! I don't call myself "Shady Gardener" just for the fun of it! ha! ;-)

I live in the shade. Our home is situated in a woodland area comprised of several native varieties of oak, as well as shagbark hickories.

First: The Sunlight

We have a LOT of sunlight during the very late Fall, Winter and Early Spring! I love it! Until mid-May, there's still a certain amount of shade due to the fact that nearly 1/2 the oaks hold their leaves until Spring. However, all this early-Spring sunlight gives all plants a great growth jumpstart once the snow disappears.

About 1/2 of the front yard receives quite a bit of sunshine during the Spring/Summer months. Once the sun rises over our roof until about 3:00 - 3:30 or so in the afternoon when the yard is shaded by various trees. The sunshine allows me to grow plants that can tolerate early morning as well as late afternoon shade, many of which are generally considered "full sun lovers."

These two photos were taken 5/18/09.

The south part of the yard has a semi-shady area holding the "Raised Bed Gardens." This area, I surmise, once enjoyed sunshine, but has become quite a bit more shaded over the years. Here 'Purple Coneflower,' Echinacea (although they never achieve their full glory and are usually very pale pink!), 'Black-eyed Susan' Rudbekia , 'Turtle head' Chelone Obliqua, Balloon flower, 'Sarah Bernhardt' Peony, 'Rosy Lights' Azalea, daylilies, etc.

Non-obedient Obedient Plant 'Vivid'
Chelone Obliqua, 'Turtlehead'
Aster 'Alert'
Echinacea 'Purple Coneflower'
Monarda, 'Jacob Cline'
(photo borrowed from Bluestone Perennials site)

*** Now, 'The Shade!'

I really do love the shade! It's a wonderfully relaxing, cooling spot to be during a hot, humid summer day. That's not to say that it doesn't get hot here, but it's just a lot cooler than everywhere else! :-) And it's so inviting to drive from the open sunlight into the shady drive and feel the temperature drop! Am I making you wistful at all? (The variety of birds and their songs is wonderful as well!)

I began a few posts in January about some of the Shade Plants I have especially enjoyed discovering and planting here. Click on the names to link to one of my previous posts.

First there is the Pulmonaria (lungwort) family. Every year there are more interesting and diverse varieties. For much information about this plant, propagation and care, Click Here.

Pulmonaria 'Trevi Fountain'

Next there is the Tricyrtis family. This post was created last September. Toadlilies are also being developed with greater variety in foliage and blossom. I planted a couple of new ones this year... Iowa Boy posted about 'Tojen,' and someone else posted about 'Taipei Silk'. . . was it you?? At any rate, I planted both this Spring! :-) Would you like more general information about these plants? Try this website.
Tricyrtis 'Shining Light'
I love the Tiarella, Heucherella, and Heuchera plants. Knowing that Heuchera are Coral Bells, did you know that plant breeders have crossed the Tiarella and Heuchera to create the Heucherella?
Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly'

Heuchera 'Amber Waves'
(he's a little larger than this, right now)
Of course, what would shade gardens be without the nearly infinite variety of Hosta?

'Sum and Substance' is way in the back of this bed.
If you look closely, you'll see several other varieties, too.

Add to this mixture a variety of ferns and you have the backbone of Shady Beauty! I have a number of different types including Japanese Painted ferns, Autumn Fern, Ostrich Fern, Lady Fern, Korean Rock Fern and a lovely unnamed fern as well as this cutie below!


There are so many other plants that are readily grown in the shade and/or partial or dappled shade:

Virginia Bluebells, Dicentra Spectabilis Bleeding Heart, and daffodils.

Ligularia, Rodgersia, Liriope Spicata/ Lilyturf, Brunnera , Astilbe, Arum Italica, Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Viburnum, Dogwood, Bergenia, Spirea, Anemone, Pasque Flower, Lady's Mantle, Cranesbill Geranium, Meadow Rue, ajuga, trumpet lilies, columbine and sedum.

I think the list goes on! However, for the most part, this is what I have. Many plants considered "sun lovers" can exist happily with partial shade! And that makes gardeners like me happy, too!

Have I helped anyone out there at all?
Would you say this is a "Shady Subject?"
:-) SG


Linda said...

So happy to discover your blog! I have a shaded back patio which by trial and error I'm slowing filling with greenery and some flowers that will tolerate shade (such as Tiarella). I found that daffodils weren't too happy, however. Perhaps because the shade is from buildings rather than the 'natural' shade of trees.

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

OMG, you covered sooo much in this post. Let me see...
You've got SUN in the front.
Maybe that's why I killed my Obedient Plant...put in in shade.
Love the raised beds.
I lost track of the selection of shade plants you have..
I can see the sum of my fairly new favorites.
Where's your deadnettle ? :)

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

This was a perfect topic for you! You have a great plant list, I need to try some of them for my shady areas. I just planted chelone last year, it's a nice one for a shady area. I also really like the fern, very unusual.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a selection of plants. I am a sucker for coneflower and black eyed susan. You have really done great things with the different sections of your yard.

Shady Gardener said...

Linda, I'm happy you discovered my blog, too! Because now I've discovered yours. :-) Thanks for your visit.

Patsi... You have to realize that not everyone can grow everything. And as much as I admire deadnettle, believe it or not. I seem destined to Not grow it. I've tried twice, in two different locations without a smidgeon of luck! Should I try once more??? I don't know.

Hi Catherine, Thanks for your visit. This post took me Forever to create. I enjoyed it, but I hope I didn't wear anyone out! ha?
I really like chelone. It's so unusual, isn't it?? (It was an experiment shortly after we moved here. And it worked!) ;-)

Chad and Brandy, The combination of those two plants are great, aren't they? I have a great close-up photo of the two of them with the birdbath that I really like! Thanks for visiting. :-)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It's surprising how much shade Echinacea will tolerate. The part sun/part shade situation is so great because it allows us to grow Daylilies, Irises and Hosta together. Of course the best is the shady woodland garden, with all its wonderful plants.
'Tapei Silk' is one Tricyrtis I don't have. Not that I couldn't find a home for one...

lynn'sgarden said...

I envy your shade garden! There's one shady area in my yard (under the kwanzan cherry tree) that I can grow ferns and toad lilies(love them!) but everywhere else is most sun. Guess it's the case of wanting what you don't have right? Great pics and info. in this post, thank you!
Lynn (NJ)

Nan Ondra said...

I hoped that we'd hear from you on this topic, Shady, and you didn't disappoint! Thanks for sharing some of your favorites. There's a lot of great information here for those struggling with shade.

Rosemary said...

Shady;What variety you have for the shade. Great info , how nice to have so much room to play with.

Kathleen said...

Not a "shady" post at all, in fact quite enjoyable!! You are the queen of shade SG, so this is the perfect topic for you. I love your raised bed gardens and just thinking about driving out of the sun and up your shady lane seems heavenly. I know in the summer, the temperature difference can be significant between sunny and shady places. You have such a nice collection of plants and they all look so healthy and happy. You've created a wonderful little garden paradise there.

Shady Gardener said...

MMD, Thank you for taking time to visit today. I know you will SOON be very busy with all the goings-on with Spring Fling! Yes, I'm positive you could find a place for Taipei Silk! :-)

Hi Lynn, I'm glad you stopped by! I think perhaps you're right... after all, did you check out the name of my blog?? ;-) Love those toad lilies!

Nan, I'm so glad you stopped in! I'm way behind on my yard work these days... there's so much to do. But, that's always the nature of gardening, isn't it? :-)

Rosemary, I'm fortunate and I know it (as far as the amount of room). But you must know that I'm having to be more selective these days as to what goes in the ground (and where!). I'm looking forward to dividing and spreading things around soon. :-)

Hi Kathleen! I'm blessed by having the opportunity to learn and participate with the out-of-doors in such a beautiful spot! However, it's the taking care of one's gardens, no matter how large or small, is what teaches us so much, isn't it?

And gives us so much joy.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Love your shade gardens! I have monarda 'Jacob Cline' that I planted in the fall and just got one bloom and the red is just fantastic! You have so many interesting plants.

It's been so busy since we got back -- so much gardening and such to do. Sorry that I've not made it by sooner. I'm still catching up!


Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I'm glad you wrote about this for GBDW, Shady! You ARE the right person for this topic! I enjoyed reading your post and viewing your garden areas! It's looking rather spring-like these days;-)

Shady Gardener said...

Cameron, Isn't it funny that I thought I'd responded last night... but there's nothing here? I am surprised you're already visiting blogs since you've returned from your wonderful trip! I'm looking forward to seeing Jacob Cline's performance this summer. :-)

Jan, Thanks for your visit. It's definitely Spring here... and entering Summer! And I'm behind in my yard work. Oh, well. It's continual. ;-)