A friend asked me in an email recently to recommend some shade plants to her. I’m very happy to expound on shade gardening, because I love the mysterious quality of shade, and the relief it provides on a hot day. The previous post I devoted to shade gardening can be found here, so if it seems like I’m leaving things out, it’s because I already mentioned it there.
If your garden doesn’t provide much shade, think about creating some, with a tree or an arbor. There are some pretty fast-growing trees to choose from; for instance, I have a Japanese willow in my garden that went from three feet to 20 feet (easily) in less than ten years. Now I need to cut it back every year to keep it from entangling itself in my clothesline. With shade often comes moist earth, so you might find moss growing in your shade garden. You can be transported from the city to the forest when you find yourself under a tree and the ground under your feet is covered in moss. Another advantage of trees and other shade producers is the privacy it provides, which is often in short supply in the city.
If you feel yourself afflicted with a very deep, shady garden, there is still a long list of plants to choose from. I found an article in the Canadian Living magazine here, that talks about the possibilities, and if you scroll down to the bottom there are links to lists of shade plants. A few of my favourites are hostas (so many to choose from!), ferns, (Japanese and maidenhair ferns are two of my favourites), sweet william (needs some sun, but will add a splash of colour to your semi-shade bed), bleeding hearts and Canadian ginger.
I’m heading to the west coast on Friday for two weeks of relaxation and visiting with relatives and friends. Looking forward to it, but posting will probably be scanty during that time. I will do my best to post at least once.
Happy shade gardening!