Monday, May 23, 2011

Shade lovers in my Garden

Thank goodness the worst of the rain is over -  two weeks! The sun comes out now and the temperature is now in the double digits. A respite in which I took some pictures.

A large portion of the garden is shaded. To varying degrees to be sure, but with a lot of trees, and more desired, it is to be expected. Naturally the shade garden is at its best in the spring when the ephemerals make themselves known. But you better be quick or you might miss their visit. We are blessed or cursed (the choice is yours, but I go with the former) with three Black Walnut trees that are only now leafing out. Perfect timing for the spring bloomers to catch as much sun as possible before they are shaded out. This year the Trilliums are doing really well and the Hepaticas which have always been quite shy are slowly pushing themselves onto the scene. Ferns and Solomon's Seal always do well, and this year I have (after a lengthy search) two small plants of False Solomon's Seal both of which are in flower. I know you are aware of the ongoing battle with rabbits however the elderberries are recovering, though the honey suckle is still struggling. Ironic of course, since both were planted with feeding the animals in mind, if only the bunnies would let them live first. 

Who can resist the Bleeding Heart?
Oddly the native ones do not do well in my gardens.
Rue Anemone or Anemonella thalictroides is a sweet little thing
Flowers are now over but the foliage of Hepatica nobilis is great
Virginia bluebells start out pink and then turn blue. They mix nicely with bleeding hearts, trilliums etc.
The Jack's are doing really well and transplant without a problem
The Great White Trillium is known for its three white bracts and three leaves
False Solomon's Seal form is similar to the true but the flowers are not as showy
Solomon's Seal flowers. The plants come in varying heights, mine top out at 3.5 feet
I never knew the Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)  flowers were so interesting
Here's a close up - just because

Here's hoping for a productive week in the garden.


  1. I just bought some variegated wine trilliums (if that makes sense). Good to know that the virginia bluebells work with them. I'd like a bleeding heart back. The boys trod on the one that was there when we bought the house until it died. The Rue looks very nice. I may try for one of those as well.

    The astilbeys are spreading fiercely and the monkshood is starting to spread after almost being wiped out by the dog.

    I hear what you say about the native bleeding heart fairing poorly. One of the things that has been very slow to take for me is the lily of the valley. - Laurie

  2. Thanks for visiting Laurie. Funny that your Lily of the Valley is doing poorly, it is usually quite a robust plant. Perhaps it is the dog and kids?

  3. The Rue Anemone is so delicate and sweet...I love little white flowers. You have a lot blooming in your shade garden.

  4. Thanks Cat. Spring is a good time in the garden for me as well as fall. Summer, after July, seems to thin out.