Friday, May 29, 2009

A Shade Garden

A few months ago I mentioned the flower bed that is on the left side of the backyard. It's in shade, and I was looking for a plan. The clay soil was hard to work with-I just didn't know what to do. This is what it looked like in February.
This is what it looks like today. I added sand to try and amend some of that clay (thanks for the suggestion Tina!) and I really do think that helped quite a bit. I didn't have problems digging holes like before. I planted 3 coral bells earlier in the spring. Right now they are doing great--I just worry about what will happen when it gets hot.

The hostas came back and are beautiful! I moved some from the sunny side of this bed last year. I love hostas-they are so perfect for shade. I also planted 2 artemisia. I know they are more sun plants, but I am hoping the filtered sun that comes through might be enough. There is a small turk's cap that you can barely see behind the rock. I had it last year and was so happy to see it come back. It grows more and more everyday.
As an experiment, I put a few begonias around the plants. They are doing fantastic, so I am thinking of buying more to fill in the holes. As you can see, there are some container plants in the background. I already had these and liked them up against the fence, so left them there. I also planted a small boxwood that I am hoping will grow and give this bed some height.
I still have quite a bit to do in this bed, but I am pretty pleased with the way it is coming along so far. I would like to try and find more shade perennials-maybe this weekend. Of course, you know how it is--we are never really "done" are we? Gardening is never over, it's usually just beginning no matter how far we have come--and I absolutely love that!!
"A gardener's work is never at an end; it begins with the year, and continues to the next."
John Evelyn

12 comments:

JenningsJunk said...

AMAZING transformation - LOVE IT!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

My soil is thick black clay, too; I can hardly even dig it with a spade fork. Did you work the sand in, or just layer it on top? I'm about to redo my beds and try to work in sand, organics, and improve the texture.

Susie said...

Linda that bed looks lovely. Filling in with the begonias is a great idea and they look good too.

CiNdEe said...

It looks wonderful! I guess amending the soil was the key. I have three hostas that start to grow every year and then something eats them. I saw them for a week and now they are gone again.)-:

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks JJ!

Nola, I did mix the sand in as much as I could. I am going to do this again..and to other beds. Our clay is terrible!

Susie, I wish I would have bought more begonias, but I didn't know how it would look. I like the little bit of color they add.

Cindee--I bet it's slugs. They are the big enemy of hostas. I use something called Sluggo. You can find it at Lowe's in the organic section. It is not harmful to animals or fish. I also hear using red pepper helps so I am also putting that in my beds too.

perennialgardener said...

Your shade garden has filled in nicely since February. The sand was a good idea, that Tina is so clever. ;) My native soil is heavy clay too and I have to amend it yearly with compost & mulch. Can't wait to see what other goodies you have planned to plant here.

tina said...

It looks really good Linda. The more you work it and the longer it sits with mulch and is tended too, the soil will get better and better. I have some artemisia growing in shade and other than being more open, it does well. It sure lightens up the shade too. The hostas looks great! The begonias set them off nicely too.

Brenda Kula said...

It is looking beautiful! Can't believe that row of hostas are so full and lush!
Brenda

marmee said...

hey mt,
i think that bed is looking very nice. it is so hard to dig in the clay so adding sand or some other kind of amendment is a great idea. hope you are enjoying late spring/early summer.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks Racquel! Yes, Tina is a gem isn't she!
I think the bed is looking much better, but it just isn't finished. Maybe something will jump out at me. I forgot to mention I also have a tiny soloman seal from a neighbor. Hopefully it will add texture when it grows up!

I am so glad you told me about your artemesia Tina. I thought I was crazy for buying it, but it just seemed to fit. Next winter, I will add some compost from our compost pile...maybe that will help the bed.

Thanks Brenda! The hostas look pretty happy right now. I will just need to keep them watered good in summer.

Hi Marmee! How are you?
Thanks, I think the bed looks much better now-I just need something to finish it off. I'm sure the perfect thing will jump in my arms once I hit the garden centers! :)
Happy Gardening!

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

You'd have loved the hostas we saw all over Chicago, Linda! I took pictures and sighed a lot ... there's not many that will grow well here in the Houston area. Yours look great!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Cindy, welcome back! I'm surprised hostas don't grow in Houston. As long as I watered them and keep them out of direct sun, mine do pretty good.