In The Shade

I love shade gardens and am astounded that many of my friends are frustrated by shade conditions in their yards. The fact that my shade gardening takes place near a small stream may be the big reason plants thrive there. It is a problem in the spring when the ice melts and the water rises and floods dramatically! I have in fact lost (and found!) things on these occasions. The cleanup is awful, heavy work and very time consuming, but soon all returns to the way it was and I’m a happy camper again, trying to find spots to add “just one more” plant.

Early Candelabra Primulas by the creek

I ran out with my camera on this lovely June day and snapped some shady characters for you. My, how things do change in shade gardens too! The Hepaticas, Mertensia, Epimedium, Woodland Phlox and Martagon Lilies are now finished blooming and the Thalictrum, Astilbes and Ferns have appeared. The many-colored Candelabra Primulas are setting seed  and I am awaiting the hydrangeas, Acanthus mollis, Kirengeshomas and other treats. One particular favorite will be the Anemonopsis macrophylla. Its stems are tall now and forming buds. The blooms will be delicate, white with lavender.

Wild Angelica grows where it chooses in the background and has fabulous ‘architecture’ to examine at every stage.

wild Angelica has purple stems

Apart from the primulas, the early shade garden, known as “the flats”,  is mostly a study in green and white with only occasional color thrown into the mix. This little Hosta will have lavender blooms.

Hellebores are among the first flowers. They add a touch of pink or sometimes yellow.

Fairy Bells  of several varieties also add a touch of yellow.

Disporum Cantoniense’ Night Heron’

Disporum ‘Night Heron’ with Painted Fern

Podophylum ‘Spotty Dotty’

Hosta in bloom

Woodland Phlox adds a lovely blue carpet.

Bloodroot and Hellebores

Corydalis ‘Wildside Blue’ with Hosta Gold Standard

By the stair path

Hosta ‘Striptease

Variegated Solomon’s Seal, Astrantia and Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’

Hosta with Astrantia – someone took a bite!

A new bud on a hosta

Sweet Cicely foliage with a hosta

I hope you enjoyed the green and white tour! Come again in the fall when things have changed once more.


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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5 Responses to In The Shade

  1. How FA BULOUS! Marie! I adore that Corydalis with the Gold Standard… wonderful combination and where did you get that Podophylum ‘Spotty Dotty’???? It’s such a fabu plant. love it. I believe you really have the perfect location for those shade loving things as you have the moisture so many of them love as well. I have difficulties with my shade areas as they compete for water with the trees and the trees usually win. This is a superb set of pics my friend, thanks for sharing. I’ll be back to drool over these again.

  2. Gayle says:

    Very nice photos! My favorites are Wild Angelica and Hosta Striptease. I love your photography!

  3. Thanks friends!
    Deanne, Spotty Dotty is proof that you can find something ANYWHERE. I found the plant about 4-5 years ago when out shopping in a nearby town with friends. We went to a huge place that sells really cheap plants. You sometimes find something special at really good prices there…and so I did. ( It must have been under $5. I’ve seen them for over $40 since then!) Once I planted this Podophylum, it struggled for years though. I thought I had lost it! My friend John suggested a new location for it and it has produced more leaves in the last 2 years. He has one too that has bloomed. Gorgeous! I’m waiting….

  4. tezalizard says:

    I’ve been waiting for a shady post, and I am so happy I waited. I too have Amemonopsis macrophylla – moved it this year so that I can appreciate its wonderful blooms. I am in awe of the size of yours! Very slow to expand in size. I think you might see Megan and I this week – Wednesday after work if it works for you! Call us at the store and let us know. I will have to charge the batteries for the camera for sure!

  5. Sue says:

    Wonderful! I too love shade gardens because I design with foliage and shade plants have so much to offer. My favorite garden is the small shade garden right outside my front door. It was my struggle trying to find foliage structure in sunny areas that led me to focus more on tropicals and unusual annuals-foliage plants for sun.

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