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April Shade Garden

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Went out and took some photos of our 'Shade Garden' , although really, everything around here is pretty shady.

This first one is the very first Louisiana Iris, it was given by a friend.

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Some miniature Iris seedlings in blue

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Foxglove

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

A little Hellebore that popped up there on it's own

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

A Toad Lily/Hosta combo

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Toad Lily, Hosta and Variegated Alstroemeria (psittacina)

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

A Toad Lily and a Cephalotaxus

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

'Lightning Strike' Toad Lily, went in the ground last Fall

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Spotted Ligularia

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Variegated Butterbur, it may not get enough sun to show a lot of variegation, but it has HUGE leaves

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

A Cephalotaxus in recovery, the chickens and the rain had combined to expose too much root, I built up the rocks around it

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

A little spotted Squill with blooms/buds. This is Drimiopsis maculata, AKA African Hosta.

This message was edited Apr 28, 2008 7:39 AM

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

This upright Japanese Yew has struggled through chicken abuse too

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

A little white Foxglove in front of the Mock Orange (Philadelphus)

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Here's the Mock Orange from another angle a week ago. It has a slightly weeping form from the shade, but it still blooms nicely.

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

An Amaryllis next to a Cast Iron Plant

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(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Brugmansia 'Pink Beauty' at the front of the Shade Garden. This is one that we cut last year and rooted the main stalk including the 'y'.

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Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

You have lots of nice shade plants Maggi. Thanks for posting them.

Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

maggidew,
I've never seen a spotted squill before, it looks like a charming little plant. I have 2 questions about the plant. First, do you know the variety name? Second is it as aggressive as the regular wood hyacinth? I found a small group along the side of my house in deep shade happily blooming so I could see them nicely from a basement window and I moved some to the shade garden. They quickly edged out all my native spring ephemerals,or tried to. Now I remove them or return them to the original side of the house strip where they can do no harm.

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

I am sorry, i should have used the correct name. It's Drimiopsis maculata, or African Hosta. I have noticed that it has sent up a new plant about 15 inches from the original, so I would be cautious about using it in a small area. Space is not a problem here and probably won't be for quite a few years. It does seem to be easy to dig and move :~)

Hyacinths on the other hand drove me crazy in my youth when it was my job to dig them out where they weren't wanted. The pesky things kept coming back from the tiniest little bulbs I've ever seen!

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Just planted in my new bed yesterday. I built the bed last fall out of native limestone and sandstone. The before pic from a couple of weeks ago.

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Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

The after pic when I finished yesterday. I have probably 10-12 different types of ferns, about 5 different hosta varieties, hellebores, bleeding heart, rhododendron, ajuga for groundcover, coleus for the color.

Doug

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Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

I can't wait for everything to really grow. I know it will be a couple of years before the ferns and hostas get large enough to fully enjoy, but it sure is fun designing and planting and seeing your ideas come to life.

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Hahira, GA(Zone 8b)

Doug - I love your wall! Did you put in a "footer", & did you use mortar mix or cement for between the stone? My DH & I have been s-l-o-w-l-y working on some low bed-edging "walls", but have yet to have any turn out as lovely as yours! Thanks for any tips! Samantha

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

You've done a beautiful job Doug. thanks for posting these photos. I'll bet that you can't wait until it grows in.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Yes I dug a footer about 12 inches wide and about 5-6 inches deep, but before the concrete totally set up I placed the larger rocks on edge into the footer to help lock it in. This was my very first attempt at laying rock using mortar so I am quite happy with the results. It was very labor intensive mixing concrete and mortar by hand in a wheelbarrow and some of those rocks weighed a couple hundred pounds each! I just took it slow and laid a course every couple of days to allow the mortar to set up before adding more weight to the wall. I just used an old bench brush to "clean" to mortar joints. It was something I had wanted to do for years but my wife finally gave me the push last fall. Now I think she regrets it. I've done more gardening this spring than in the last ten years put together. And she says " you're always on that gardening website" Thanks Dave for making me an addict!!!!

Doug

Hahira, GA(Zone 8b)

Doug - Thanks for the help! Though my DH probably WON'T thank you - he's been using every excuse to avoid having to go out there & mix more concrete & mortar! You're right about the labor intensive part! We even rented a small (?) cement mixer, but before we were done, the pull cord to start it with broke, so he had to mix the remaining batch by hand - it was a holiday weekend, & the rental shop was closed! (of course!) I think it will help us to do as you did - one course of rock at a time - we tried to do it in sections - 3 or 4 courses x 8 - 10 feet, but I like your way better! Thanks again, Samantha

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

I will say to have about twice the mortar than you think you'll use. Because of the irregularity of the stones you use a lot more mortar but this also makes it stonger. Good luck!!

Doug

(Maggi) Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh my, that is a beautiful area.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks Mag, it was a lot of work but hopefully it will be there for years to come and be full of beautiful plants when they all mature. The area was/is originally hard packed clay. I tilled it up last fall and added quite a bit of composted leaves, then this spring I added peat, compost, and horse manure. The soil is actually dark and loamy now. Hope the ferns and hostas especially like it.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

maggiedew I love the shots youve posted!!! I love ligularias and have never seen a spotted one!!! Im so silly I thought for a couple of years that i had two othellos or large leaf ligularias and now i find out one is a brit marie!!! Can you believe that?? Wow do I ever feel dumb! The difference in the leaves is so sutle. I just got a new one a couple of days ago Little Rock....Ronna

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Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

one of my fave spring combos....

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Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

mercury stargazers....sorry i just love sharing photos:)

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Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

postmandug....Wow is all I can say! Very pretty!! Lots of gratifying hard work! Love the bleeding hearts!! Spotted them right away. Ronna

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

by the way here is mine LOL.

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Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Here's another "project" I worked on this weekend. The limbs on the Magnolia were hanging so low I couldn't get the riding mower close enough, so rather than cut the limbs off I just enlarged the tree ring and added plants. Before:

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Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

My wife says I now have to do the Oak and the Hickory in the front yard too! After:

Doug.

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Northern, NJ(Zone 6b)

postmandug,
That's a very elegant solution to your problem. I can see why your wife wants you to continue it through to the front yard. I can't tell from the photo but it looks like you added soil or mulch against the trunk of the tree. If so you might want to pull it away about 6" so you don't cause any problems for the tree.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

It is elegant and I do agree with semp. Please be sure that there is no mulch or dirt touching the trunk of the tree or you are likely to get crown rot from which there is little hope of recovery.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Great job on tha planter wall Doug! It's also something I really want to do! Wanna come do mine? ; )

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