15 June 2011

shady lady

June is such a fantastic month around the garden. The weather is perfect, I don't have to obsessively water (yet), days are long, and forgotten perennials are coming up everywhere! Inevitably each year around the same time, I have an urge to completely dig up a new area and start fresh with different plants and a new look.  This year, I have already dug up a sad-looking Arbutus Marina and replaced it with a dwarf Arbutus Uneda, some Karl Foerster ornamental grass, and a few other things I managed to transplant from other areas.

We scored some *free* landscape rocks to create this border, and I built up the corner with 2 yards of soil to hopefully allow for improved drainage.  The Uneda should grow to about six feet as well as the tall grasses.  Hopefully everything will fill out and grow in nicely together!  That took care of one of the few sunny spots of the property, even though the pup has taken a liking to the tasty compost and manure in the new soil.

Next, I am focusing on one of the most shadiest sections which consists of a massive Camelia, a large Holly tree, a young Fatsia Japonica and some Japanese Forest Grass that I'm forcing to "gracefully" flow over the pathway.  This is originally what I had in mind:

And this is the result:

Sad, right? I probably just need to learn more patience and hope that eventually I might stand a chance of getting the look I want!

The rest of this aforementioned shade garden looks like this:

I'd like to fill it out a bit more with the use of some medium size shrubs, perennials of different heights, and maybe some additional ground cover.  These photos have me drooling:

Photo: Tom Arban. Landscape Architect:  Martin Wade.

The combination of Hostas, Calla Lillies, Spanish Lavender, Astilbe, Ferns, and Japanese Maples is a concept that I'm already using around some other areas, which is maybe what draws me to these photos the most.  I need to find out what the different ground covers are and maybe try to wheelbarrow in some big landscape rocks to add some more interest to the area.  I know that the Calla Lillies and Spanish Lavender likely wouldn't thrive in this shady spot, so I need to look for some substitutes that might give me the same kind of look!

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