Thursday, 16 February 2012

Scenes from my Shade Gardens

I thought I would share a few shots of my shade gardens with you today. I prefer shaded gardens to any other having never been much of a sun worshipper and possessing a terrible aversion to heat (I'm very fussy for a Canadian).

Under the canopy of trees and tangle of branches the shade garden provides another layer to the garden experience...the movement of shadow and sparkle of light as they play across the textures of hostas and hakone, the cool breezes that provide refuge and tranquillity, the contrast of colour and flower against a subdued backdrop.

A tremendous variety of plants thrive in shade or partial shade - there is plenty to delight here, much more than just hostas (which I love, but they do like lovelier with interesting friends about them).

These photos were taken late spring 2011...I hope you enjoy!

In partial shade at the side of the house I have this sunny combination
of hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (Japanese forest grass)
and Origanum vulgare 'Aureum' (golden oregano)

This small triangular bed beneath two young maples is home to hosta "elegans"
and a new planting of hosta "fragrant bouquet"... love the apple green foliage and
the white flowers are deliciously fragrant as the name implies

This is one of those plants that I look forward to with great anticipation...
deutzia 'Chardonnay Pearls' looks fabulous in light, dappled shade. Sprays of white buds
last for weeks in late spring before they finally burst into full flower for another two-three weeks.
Dainty and elegant, the lime green foliage adds sparkle to the spring garden,
slowly ripening to a deeper tone by the end of the summer.

A Miss Kim lilac getting reading to bloom last spring. She is in the sun, the 
black chokeberries in partial shade have just started to bloom.

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' backed by a mixed planting of
Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'
 (variegated solomons seal),
geranium phaem 'mourning widow' and geranium macrorrhizum 'bevan's variety'...
one of the best behaved ground covers for dry shaded areas.


I love ferns...this is ostrich fern with a pretty maidenhair fern,
hosta and a touch of heuchera for a bit of contrast.

Another shot of the chardonnay pearls with spiderwort
and more of that lovely heuchera 'Plum Pudding'. A foxglove left some seedlings for
me and they are just starting to show themselves.

Geranium 'Espresso' (cranesbill)

A cheerful little perennial (makes a nice ground cover too):
Anemone sylvetris in the spring

I would have to add lady's mantle to my top ten list of plants...
adore the crinkled leaves, chartreuse flowers, and that once established is fairly
drought tolerant and easy to divide...
I borrowed this photo from Pinterest, having no idea where mine are at the moment.

I wish you all a beautiful day!


  1. I too do not like the heat or sun, ironic then, that my husband was transferred to Barbados. I love shade gardens, my garden in Owen Sound, has a large number of very high silver maples, perfect to establish a shade garden under.

  2. What an exciting life you have Deborah! I would have to admit that a bit of Barbados sun sounds rather nice on a chilly February day - ah, but the sun is shining here today and the robins arrived yesterday and are singing their hearts out so its not all bad. Look forward to following your adventures.


    1. Planning on travelling back in mid April, hoping the garden (and my snowdrops) will be starting. Not sure if there will be an early spring or not. Thank you for introducing me to Claus Dalby, spent quite a few glorious hours on his blog, what an amazing garden, exactly my style.

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