On the north side of the south fence is where I planted a lovely shade garden, replete with rhododendron, hydrangea, ferns, hosta and other woodland beauties. I call it Jodi’s Garden, after my wonderful sister who contributed much hard labour to its creation on one of her visits. I mean really, how many people have relatives who come for a holiday and spend their time shovelling and wheelbarrowing? I love my sister!
During the winter months this long stretch is very shady, because the sun tracks so low in the sky that it never touches the six feet closest to the fence. That creates a real “frost belt” which demands hardy plants (or ones that go dormant in winter).
In the summer however, the sun shines brightly against the fence creating a lot of heat, especially at the height of summer, and my shade lovers are suffering! The situation will ease over time because I’ve planted several trees for summer coverage, but right now they’re not big enough to do the job.
One of my favourite trees in the shade garden is a Japanese maple; Acer palmatum ‘Shin de Shojo’ or Spring Ruby. As you might guess, it has new spring foliage of glowing pink - gorgeous! Underplanted with ferns, helleborus corsicus, rhododendron ‘Fantastica’, and a pure white evergreen azalea named ‘Adonis’, this spot is so fresh and crisp looking in spring.
The other trees I’ve planted in this garden include:
- Golden Indian Bean tree – Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’;
- Chinese Dogwood – Cornus Kousa Chinensis, and
- Stewartia pseudocamellia.
One thing that I don’t like about this garden is its shape. In the future I intend to expand into the lawn and am contemplating a largish pond to break up the vast expanse of grass, but all in good time. For the present it’s basically a long straight garden, terribly boring!
I console myself with the knowledge that, for me at least, the fun is in the planning and execution – if I finished everything and my garden was “done” then there wouldn’t be something to look forward to; another new garden to create!