Hello my garden-loving friends! Today I am sharing a post about the new backyard shade garden in progress at our new home. It’s origins are bittersweet, but very special nonetheless. Just last week my grandmother passed away, and the only thing I could do to deal with the grief this past weekend was a little garden therapy. I had just started a new shade garden at our new house, and I really wanted some giant hostas to be focal points and to build around. None of the local garden centers had the kind I wanted however.
As it turns out, my grandmother Louise had planted two giant hostas outside the window of her residential home eight years ago. She had brought them from her previous home, so when we were clearing out her belongings inside and out the residential facility manager allowed me to dig them up. Now they are at home in my new garden. Almost instantly, the space began to fill up and I feel certain she would have wanted me to have them. It is almost like she gave us a little housewarming gift, and there will always be a part of her at our new home!
For as excited as I have been about all the possibilities for the interiors of our new home, I have been absolutely depressed over the landscape and small backyard, especially after just creating a dream backyard cottage garden at the yellow brick home last summer with a new she shed. We do have a fabulous deck at our new home where I will have veggies, flowers, and herbs in containers galore right outside our kitchen, with no more worry about pesky deer! I am super excited about that!
The only thing in our backyard when we bought the house was a red bud tree and the giant clump of hellebores I shared earlier this spring on the opposite side of this picture. Here I had started planting some struggling azaleas I moved from the front foundation and just a few coral bells that survived winter. The boxwood topiary urn was just for reference as I began to plan.
Shade Garden Inspiration
Here are some pictures of various shade plants, shrubs and trees with some designs that I find inspiring.
Various shades of green, purple, blue and gray have always been my favorite color palette for both sun and shade gardens.
Creating layers upon layers of interest through plants with various textures rather than blooms is the goal in a shade garden.
I go back and forth between a naturalistic shade garden, and more formal English style gardens. In the end I am sure it will just turn out the way it turns out based on what plants I end up snagging on clearance sales or any that I am gifted from friends.
I also want a very Linda Vater inspired garden (my gardening muse!) with English and European appointments and lots of boxwoods interspersed among hosts, ferns and other shade perennials.
I love how urns can help add height and interest to a shade garden where tree roots prohibit in ground plantings.
A First Look at the Backyard Shade Garden in Progress
It didn’t take long to find perfect spots for Mammaw’s hostas. I just love having them at our new home, because they make me feel close to her and remember our shared love of gardening!
I really think this space is going to be spectacular in the not too distant future, but there’s still a lot of work to do. All of the red decking and fence will be painted a charcoal black sometime in May (similar to photo below). I will be adding lattice work to the deck behind the hostas to block off the carport and provide structure in the shade garden.
I have so many rocks still at the yellow brick home that I plan to swipe and move. Once all the rocks are in place, it will make the shade garden-in-progress look much more finished and help with my impatience!
Honestly this front section doesn’t need many more plants. Once the chartruese sedum ground cover fills in and teh heuchera (coral bells) really take off, it will seem full. I need to start working on the “background” on the other side of the tree.
My old concrete birdbath will soon be a focal point in the muddy area just behind the large hosta Hopefully I can find some some giant ferns and other interesting shade plants to plant around the base.
This weekend I also dug up a peony and planted it in the large urn until fall when I decide where it will end up in the landscape. It also adds some visual interest and height while other things are filling in. Just to the right of the urn is a new black beauty elderberry and I can’t wait for it to mature!
It will grow up to 8×12 if it likes the conditions, providing a gorgeous backdrop, moody color, texture and interest. We do plan to switch out the fencing for taller privacy fencing that will be painted dark gray. It isn;t heavy shade under the red maple, so it should do well, and it can be trimmed back if needed.
Well that’s about all for now, but I will share an update post as I make more progress! If you have any ideas for shade plants that are fast growing and provide privacy, please do share!
Do you have a shade garden? I love hearing your ideas!
Thanks for visiting!