I am so thrilled with this little Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree that I planted in my shade garden last Fall. I purchased it from a local discount retailer for $20.00. Normally, a Japanese Maple starts at around $150.00 and up. I have been wanting one of these forever in my side shade garden to give it some height. This little Japanese Maple can be contained at 4-6 feet. It is so slow growing, it would take years for it to become that tall. The picture at the left shows it this Spring after it leafed out. It survived our cruel winter up here in Northeastern Ohio.
Here is a picture of my iron garden bench after it was repainted and installed in the step up side area of my side shade garden. There are hostas planted in back and trellises with several kinds of clematis as a backdrop. I surrounded the hostas with my Mother's collection of smooth river rocks she collected years ago on a vacation to Arizona.
Just thought you might like to see a picture of my Solomon's Seal in my back shade garden. I started with a small pot of it from a local nursery several years back and it has grown and spread every year since. It always blooms in the early Spring with small white bell shaped flowers going up the underside of the plant. Expect it to grow slowly and get about 1 1/2 feet tall. It is really a "choice" plant for a shady garden. It prefers rich organic amended soil that is slightly moist all the time. Mine is surrounded by Lamium or Dead Nettle. I have several varieties of Lamium throughout my shade gardens. This year they are creeping everywhere and spreading really nice. This variety has pink blossoms. They usually bloom all season. It makes a nice contrast for the Solomon's Seal. If you don't have this plant in your shade garden, hope you will try it.
Today I would like to share with you some of my specialty plants in my shade gardens. I have a small patch of Jack-in-the-Pulpits and Trilliums that I planted about five years ago. They multiply slowly. Some years the Jack-io-the-Pulpits are taller. Have no idea why that would be. These are choice plants that are hard to find at area nurseries. If you are lucky to discover them and you have shade, make the investment. The first picture is of my Jack-in-the-Pulpits and Trillium. The Jack-in-the-Pulpits are the plants with the purplish spotted stems and the pulpits that look like vases. They stay quite a while in my gardens probably until beginning of July, then, they get stems with bright red berries on them and the leaves and pulpits disappear. The Trilliums are in front with the small white flowers. Both plants are early Spring plants from April to July.
My Maiden Hair Fern is really special. It is in the first picture with the St. Francis of Asisi Statue It never grows beyond 2 feet fall. If you visit California as I did several years ago, you will see Maiden Hair Ferns that are tree like. That is because they can continue to grow all year around and not go dormant like here in Northeast Ohio. I have been very fortunate to have it come back every Spring. The third picture on the right is that fern in my garden.
The next picture (the middle picture) is of my palm fern rising out of the ground. I found this plant at the Hudson, Ohio Garden Club Tour Plant Sale a few years ago. It is very unusual as it has very different fronds than the usual fern does and, it is tall (about 2 - 2 1/2 feet tall).
Hope you will try some of these plants in your gardens if you have lots of shade. You will need moist, fertile soil with organic compost worked in.