This area was a complete mess before I started. I wish I had taken a before shot. Some plants were here as if someone had, at one time, had a small garden but it had been years since it was touched and everything was grown up and small trees had begun to grow. It was very labor intensive to get it cleaned up. The bank to the right of the garden is hopefully going to see a retaining wall in the near future.
I live in Upstate NY and am in a Zone 3 although I have found plants for Zone 4 will survive as well. This particular garden has different lightings throughout. From left to right it is mainly shade, dappled sunlight, and then partial sun. The area farthest right receives the most direct sun - not more than 4 hours a day. The area farthest left receives only morning sun and it does not get under the White Pine very far. The soil has a good amount of sand in it.
I am not removing any of the trees - I love the Tamarack even though I realize it may be an issue down the road. There is a Honesuckle bush in the center which took a beating this year with our drought. I am debating on keeping it. I did prune off all of the dead stems the other day and there were a lot this year.
From left to right there are astilbes, ostrich fern, sensitive fern, old fashion daylilies (which were there), bleeding heart, purple gem rhodie (which is stemy due to it not getting enough sunlight - I may move it elsewhere), about four varieties of hosta, coral bells, a dwarf phlox, hens and chicks, creeping phlox, stonecrop, dianthus, sandwort, salvia, false solomon seal (which were there and come up wherever they want) and some more old fashion lilies in the stones that like to pop up from a previous gardener. I have a couple annuals thrown in there.
I have removed some of the old fashion lilies from the far left hence the big space there and there were also some to the far right above the rocks which I removed hence the space there.
I have planted additional ostrich fern under the white pine close to the base of the tree just recently however, the fronds were pretty much gone from them since they were getting overcrowded and too much sun in another spot. This area should fill in some more next year.
The tallest plants (besides the ostrich ferns and that big guacamole hosta), are the dwarf phlox at 24 inches and the salvia is about 18-20 inches. My thinking is that I need some plants that are lower growing (not more than 15 inches) and probably ranging from shade to partial sun. I would prefer to add more perennials that are going to be in bloom from this time to frost so I am not looking at a sea of green the latter half of the season.
I am sorry this is so long. I really love my gardens and love talking about them and I tend to ramble on and on.