Friday, October 25, 2013

shade garden

One day, maybe, I'll come up with creative names for my gardens.  Today is not that day.  Today the best name I can come up with for the area that my mom and I have been working on is "Shade Garden".  It's a horrible name.  All of my gardens are in the shade.  "Shade Garden" in no way distinguishes this part of my yard from any other.  The important part is not the name, but the fact that it's finished.

Before we get any further, let's talk about hydrangeas, and specifically Oak Leaf Hydrangeas.  I have a love hate relationship with hydrangeas.  When I moved into my house, I decided that I wanted to include as many 'old-fashioned' plants as possible.  Hydrangeas qualify. They've been around forever.  They're shrubs, so they're good habitats for critters, and I do love nature.  They also bloom, which is plus when you're dealing with shade, and they make good cut flowers.  That's a lot of positives. This is what I don't like:
  1. Hydrangeas are trendy right now, and I'm not the kind of person who follows trends. 
  2. Blue hydrangeas make me think of trailer parks.  (You can say that when you grew up near trailer parks.  And I'm not the only one who things so, so don't judge me alone.) There's nothing wrong with trailer parks, but they've never been my aspiration or inspiration.  
  3. I hate their foliage almost as much as I hate iris foliage.  Plants only bloom part of the year, so for me, what you're looking at most of the time is important.  When Oak Leaf Hydrangeas aren't blooming, they look like they're trying to be trees, but their leaves got fat instead, and they grew out instead of up.

So you can guess what the first plants to go into the "Shade Garden" were.  Oak Leaf Hydrangeas.  They grow very well here, and as such, I have access to almost an unlimited supply of free Oak Leaf Hydrangeas. Free always wins.

OK, back to the story of the newly named "Shade Garden."

So last summer we got out the Round-Up, and went to war with the ivy behind my shed.  It was a hot and dry summer, and after two applications ivy was gone.  Last fall we blew leaves into this area to help with the mulch, and the ivy stayed away. Hallelujah! There was an azalea, a holly, some huckleberries, and a few Hearts-A-Burstin in this spot, so the foundation of a garden was there, it just didn't look like anything yet.  It was a mess, but I called it natural and didn't loose any sleep over it.

Fast forward to about a month ago.  My house was finally painted, and it was time to make my yard as spiffy as my house.  The area behind my freshly painted shed needed to go from 'area where the ivy used to be' to some type of garden.  'Garden' being an area with things that bloom and laid out in a way that you can see said blooms.

I'm a big fan of plants that have grown with little or no attention over the course of the past 20 years, so I decided to keep everything that was growing in this area, but move it around so that the tall things were in the back, and the short things in the front. I also brought in 2 baby Oak Leaf Hydrangeas from my parent's house, and a mix of hostas from my house and my parent's house to add blooms.  It was a very sophisticated plan.

The end result is that I have something that resembles a garden.

Or should I say, looks like a garden after I label everything, and you don't have to play Where's Waldo to find the plants.

Since I forgot to take a before picture, imagine all the plants clustered together around the azalea and the small tree up front. We moved everything back and out, with the exception of the azalea. (I was scared I would kill if we tried to dig it up.)  Now that we're finished, you can actually see the azalea, and since the holly is no longer on top of it, both plants should do better.  The hydrangeas have plenty of room to fill out, and the Hearts-A-Bursting & huckleberries should look nice in swaths in the back.  You can see everything, and it still looks natural.  In the spring it should look like a garden.  Mission accomplished.

This post has close ups of the plants we moved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sooooo, the spammers have finally discovered my blog. I'm not sure if that means I've 'made it', but it does mean that I have turned on comment moderation for my older posts. Don't worry though, I get the notifications quickly, and promise to read and publish anything that doesn't include random comments or suspicious links.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...