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The shade garden

Nothing comes at more of a premium on a suburban newly developed lot than shade. The only bit of our garden where we don't have blistering sun at least half of the day is the Northeast corner between our garage and the house. It's small, so it's chock full of the plants we can't grow anywhere else: rodgersia, ligularia, painted fern, various jack-in-the-pulpits, goatsbeard, and more. What's worse, these plants have to share their space with the air conditioning unit!

Most of the flower action in the shade garden happens in spring - by mid-summer it is a dense jungle of lush foliage (the photo above was taken in August).

We hope that the trees we've planted all across our property will give us other opportunities to plant shade-loving perennials, but in the meantime, this is where they get stashed. Maybe that's a good thing - at least now, I have to "just say no" to shade perennials - there's simply no space...

A partial list of the plants growing in our shade garden

Actaea racemosa (snakeroot; black cohosh)
Amelanchier alnifolia (Western serviceberry; juneberry)
Arisaema ringens (Japanese cobra lily)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack in the pulpit)
Aruncus aethusifolius (dwarf goat's beard)
Aruncus dioicus (goat's beard)
Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)
Astrantia major (masterwort)
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' and 'Variegata' (false forget-me-not)
Cryptotaenia japonica 'Atropurpurea' (Japanese parsley)
Digitalis lutea (straw foxglove)
Helleborus lividus subsp. corsicus (Corsican hellebore)
Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)
Helleborus x hybridus (lenten rose)
Hosta 'Undulata Mediovariegata' (plantain lily)
Hosta hybrids (plantain lily)
Hydrangea 'Preziosa'
Ligularia dentata (golden groundsel, leopard plant)
Ligularia sibirica
Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket' (narrow-leaf ligularia)
Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon's seal)
Polygonatum humile (dwarf Solomon's seal)
Pulmonaria officinalis (lungwort)
Pulmonaria saccharata 'De Vroomen's Pride' (Bethlehem sage)
Rodgersia aesculifolia
Spigelia marilandica (indian pink)
Syneilesis palmata (palmate umbrella plant)
Tricyrtis hirta (toad lily)
Tricyrtis macropoda (pagoda toad lily)

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Last modified: August 07, 2004
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