Wednesday, June 09, 2010

See How A Shade Garden Grows

See how her shade garden has grown.....

"Growth is a greater mystery than death. All of us can understand failure, we all contain failure and death within us, but not even the successful man can begin to describe the impalpable elations and apprehensions of growth." ~ Norman Mailer

The idea of me trying to do a Wordless Wednesday is ridiculous... impossible... not likely. There are just too many thoughts that pop into my head and have to get out. Take this shade garden. Since the house is so new, the trees that are actually IN our yard are still small, though growing and now around 10' tall. So the only real "shade" area is a recess by the front porch and between the porch and the outside wall of the master bathroom. It gets morning sun but by noon is in shade and even a little sooner, now that the calla have grown up again. Last year I planted two fern able to withstand cold weather, several hosta and columbine starter plants from my friend Marcia, two astilbe and then in the fall a puny looking hydrangea (Cityline Rio). The plants did OK but nothing really special and then they died back. I had to cut the remaining yellow leaves and stems back to the ground and I put bamboo sticks into the ground to mark the plants for mulching. All winter the area was a sea of brown mulch with stupid little white sticks protruding. I only wish I had taken a picture of the space back in early March... now, these pictures would be even more dramatic.

In late March the little sprouts started coming up. First the fern in the foreground and then the hosta and astilbe. For a long while, I thought the fern in the far back left of the space was dead... then tiny little curly cue brown worms started sticking heads through the mulch. I have added a white bleeding heart and a heleobore and two more different varieties of columbine this year.

Onward and upward Posted by Picasa

Everything has done well this year... the hosta have already bloomed once and have doubled in size. One of the astilbe (white) has doubled in size and the other exploded, mounding up to five times its size last year. Both ferns are great and the hydrangea is blooming. The only thing is that I was confused about the hydrangea. I thought it would be purple with green in the center if I made the soil more alkaline so a bit of lime and egg shells... and then a bit more. But I now find out that I should have tried to keep the soil more acidic; thus the pink. I have dosed it with the first of many coffee grounds... and we will see what happens.

(end of post)


kenju said...

You certainly have a GREEN thumb!! It looks terrific and I love astilbe. It looks good nestled between the other things.

I can't just post photos

kenju said...

Speaking of knees  (as you did in your comment), I don't know how you can garden like you do! My knees scream at me if I even try to kneel - and I take Lodine every day and 2 extra-strength Tylenol too. It's all I can do to clean my lower cabinets, and even then I have to sit on the floor to do it and it takes supreme effort to get back up!  Of course, I am older than you - but still - I don't know how you do it. My hat's off to you!

Puss in Boots said...

Your shade garden looks lovely and it sure has grown very quickly.  How gratifying for you.  I get mixed up with the acid and alkali thing with hydrangeas, too.  I never get it right. 

Paul Nichols said...

You have had a colorful month of June so far. Wow! I'm sure glad you're not wasting your time with a job. We'd probably never get to see these delightful photos. Bless you.