I really haven’t thought much about the shade garden for the past few years. It was my ‘original’ original, the first garden I planted from scratch, so to speak. So much work to prepare the ground and find the right plants to survive in the shade of my beloved crabapple tree.
As in most gardens in areas that freeze, some of the perennials make it through the winter, some do not. That’s the main reason I have tried to map out my gardens, so that from year to year, I will recognize what pops its head out in the spring. Most of what has survived from year to year in my shade garden, without much attention from me, are the numerous hostas. Once I realized how unbelievably easy they are to start, I gathered many varieties. My favorite is a blue leaved giant variety I found at Spring Hill Nurseries.
I’m not a fan of the flowers that this specimen produces, as they are a bit obscene. I snip them before they even bloom.
I have a few astilbes that I love, a deep red one and a beautiful white one. The color fades on these, but even the dead stems add texture and variety to the garden. Most of the color of this garden, however, comes from the impatiens that I plant regularly. The search is on for some colorful items that recover as nicely as all the hostas.
I found a lovely blog this morning called Carolyn’s Shade Garden that introduced me to an interesting shade flower called Snowdrops. Turns out its a winter flower, and I was so excited to realize that Carolyn gardens in Bryn Mawr, PA which happens to be a zone 7a area. Not much different that my zone 5b.
I cannot wait to enhance my Shade Garden with some of the flowers I plan to purchase from Carolyn. She offers Snowdrops and hostas on her website. She speaks on cyclamen, and I’d love to obtain the secret of a successful cyclamen. Mine have a very interesting leaf, but lately all that I see from my crop are single pink flowers, no leaves. Also plentiful on Carolyn’s site were Hellebores.
I was first introduced to Hellebores at the Philadelphia Flower show. Last year, the theme was a British theme. With England being the home of native Hellebores, most of the displays featured Hellebores of the soft green and white variety. Subtle yet impressive; but if there are colorful Hellebores to be had, I’m gonna find them also!
Another website that I visited, A Way to Garden offers some good information on caring for Hellebores, in addition to information on adding a water feature to the garden.
Great plans are in the making for The Crabapple Shade Garden this year!