When we first moved into our home, the front "garden" consisted of patchy grass bordered by the infamous ivy that spread up onto the house and into the grass. We were fortunate enough to have a mature, majestic oak tree, but we were perplexed about how to create a nice shade garden. That darn ivy was creeping everywhere.
Ferns, hostas, European ginger
The first thing, obviously, that we did was to start ripping out the ivy. It took quite a while and we still, to this day, have a bit here and there. Then we added a slow growing, lacey Japanese maple tree. Hydrangeas followed; by that I mean we rarely just purchased hydrangea bushes at a nursery, but rather we would buy small flowering plants that you see around Mother's Day, cut the blossoms and use them in floral arrangements and then plant the remainder- pretty much a little stub with a few leaves. Each and every one took and that way we were able to actually see the flower in person before we planted it.
Since then, we have added many ferns and hostas, which do fab in the dappled light. A tuck in here and there and this is where we are at now. My favorite part of the shade garden is its peacefulness and coolness on a hot day.
I love these funky ferns!
This is a wild orchid which has self-sowed around the garden. I first thought it was a weed, but it surprised us! The flowers stalk is only seven or eight inches high, the plant very unassuming. (You can see the plant in the second photo, left front, right before the European gingers.)
What plants do you prefer in the shadier areas of your garden?