My back shade garden is directly outside my kitchen window - the picture above was taken from the kitchen sink. In other words I've been staring at this view a lot lately and I can't help scheming and planning what I'm going to do to change/improve it for next year. Here's a look at it in 2010, including what is blooming when:
Above: closer to the garage is deeper, drier shade (background in the top left photo) and there is not a lot happening yet in May. But fritillaria is already blooming there and this year I planted some forget-me-nots so I'm working on more bloom in this area next year. I also have some chionodoxa in the area and should plant more.
Above: by mid-June, much more is happening in the back shade garden. The bergenia is still blooming (did I mention I love bergenia?), the ferns are up, plus tulips, snowdrop anemone, and leopard's bane are blooming. The bare patch in the bottom right of the photo is a pathway that I don't even bother to mulch anymore because the kids are always running up and down, keeping the weeds down for me!
Above: June in the back shade garden also include bleeding heart and dwarf bearded irises blooming. I added the hopscotch stepping stones to the lawn this year and the kids love 'em (so do I!) And I bet you can't even see the chair in the corner of the top left photo above, can you? I'm thinking of painting that chair green this year to help it stand out.
Above: The back shade garden in August. Ligularia, astilbes, hostas, heucheras and ornamental grasses are in bloom. This month I added a variegated dogwood to the right of the birdbath for even more foliage interest. You can see I also painted the trim and I really need to paint that electrical meter on the right hand side of the garage wall (it keeps sticking out of these pictures like a sore thumb!) I also tried growing a clematis tangutica on that trellis but it didn't make it - that spot is super dry and 100% dark shade, being between two large trees and on the north side of the garage. So instead I'm planning to spray paint a decorative metal scroll a fun, bright colour and hang it on that trellis to dress things up in that area year-round! And phew, doesn't the brown and white trim look so much better than that gawd-awful yellow?
Above: in October I've started cutting stuff back and mulching with leaves, but the ornamental grasses and bergenia still look great and the virburnum lentago (nannyberry) and viburnum trilobum (dwarf american cranberry) 'Bailey Compact' shrubs are still adding fall colour. They were new last year and will get bigger and put on a better show in the future.
So, to summarize my to-do list for this garden in 2011:
- paint the electrical meter box
- paint the chair in the back corner green
- paint a decoration to hang on the trellis since nothing will actually grow there
- plant plenty of early blooming bulbs next fall
To see what this garden looked like last year, click here.
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