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Showing posts with label Garden types/design styles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garden types/design styles. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Shady Border

Shade is often one area of the garden that gives gardeners the most trouble. I would like to take some time today to share some great suggestions for plantings in a shaded area.

For the purpose of this post, shade will be described as an area of your garden that gets some morning or evening sun.   I have used photos that are not mine...they are from a book...and I am sorry, but I can't credit you if I don't know where the photo came you see YOUR photo in my post...please message me and I will happily edit my writing to include you deserve the credit!
Now...back to the best stuff...

The first thing you will need to do is to chose your area. When choosing your location, try to avoid making a bed under very large trees, as their roots often use up too much water. Building a raised bed under a tree can, at times, cause the tree to become distressed. When extra soil is added, the roots will be unable to breathe and the tree could suffer and eventually die.

Prepare your area by loosening /digging the soil up to a depth of about two feet. This will help you in removing all perennial weeds and their roots and make mixing in compost, manure or peat moss easier. (For more information on building a new flower bed...see this post…Building a new flower bed from scratch)
Once you have prepared your soil it is time to plan the plantings! (For more information about soil preparation/amendment see this post …Making Dirt Into Soil) Set out your plants and move them around until you find their most attractive spots and are showing their best side. You may also want to soak the plants in water before you plant them. This will cut down on some of the root shock. Keep in mind that it is best to plant any shrubs in early spring or fall to give them time to establish a healthy root system.

Now that you have planned out your garden still in their is time you start to plant it. Carefully knock the plant out of it's container and scarify the root ball a little bit. (you should check to see if the tag says not to scarify...some plants will not like it, but most will...)

SCARIFY: The act of roughing up the root ball a little to loosen the roots as to stimulate healthy growth.

Place the new plants into their respective spaces and stand back to be sure they are perfect to you. Water the new additions in using a fertilizer or plant food of your choice. This will help reduce root and plant shock and will also encourage new growth.

Need a list of possible shade lovers?

Lets begin with a few perennials:
I will describe all the plants in the above photo ( oh how I wish this was in my garden)

Height: 3-15 ft.
Spread: 6-10 ft.
Beautiful blue or pink or white flower heads in the summer...Most are zones 6-9...but for us Canadians, Pee Gee Hydrangea is very tough ...can handle our -40 winters!

Height: 1-3 ft
Spread: 3-4 ft
White or lilac flowers, but this plant is most often used for it's impressive foliage...there are many different variations of Hosta to choose from. And they are hardy to our cold Canadian winters too!

Height: 6-12 in
Spread: 2-3 ft
Flowers early in the summer, is an excellent ground cover, but will need to be protected over the suited for zones 4-8.

Height: 2-4 ft
Spread: 6-8 in
This plant prefers sin, but will tolerate some light shade. Orange, red or gold flowers will appear in late summer. Protect in winter in cooler suited for zones 5-8.

Rosa Rugosa
Height: 3-6 ft
Spread: 3-6 ft
This hardy plant blooms pink in the fall. Will grow in Canada! zones 2-8.

Height: 15in
Spread: 24 in
Small purple flowers will appear in the spring with this ground cover. Very hardy plant...zones 2-8!

Height: 4ft
Spread: 2 ft
This is a pretty orange flowering plant that will bloom late in the summer in zones 4-9.

Smoke Tree
Height: 15 ft
Spread: 15 ft
This is called a deciduous or evergreen plant. Ball shaped flowers will appear late in the summer. Not hardy at all...zones 5-9

Height: 30 in-5 ft
Spread: 1-2 ft
Pink spikes appear in the summer, is self seeding and is a biennial.. I have some here that is hardy...but most only live in zones 4-10. (I am a zone 3)

Did you know there are different types of shade? Here are a couple of plant choices for them:


This plant features round greenish yellow flower heads in the spring...gets about 3ft and is only a perennial in zones 7-10....would be an annual in my area!!

Gladwin Iris
Tall fast growing plants with bright pink berries in the fall...sounds interesting...Gets to about 5 ft and is hardy to zones 5-7. I once made an entire hedge out of these along a pathway.

I love the name of this plant. It is also known by a less glamorous name - Anemone. It sports cub shaped blue, pink or white flowers in the spring. I have some that need to be protected but is safe in zones 5-8. Will be about 5ft.

Fringecups (Tellima)
Small bell shaped creamy white flowers will appear on this plant in late spring. It will be about 18 inches and will grow as a perennial in zones 4-9


White pink or burgundy plumes show themselves in summer months. Will grow between 1-4 ft tall. Can be grown as a perennial in zone 3 if placed in a sheltered area and protected in the winter, but is best grown in zones 4-8

Royal Fern.Beautiful bronze plumes on dark green leaves...very tender plant. Will only grow in zones 7-9 and will be about 1-3 feet tall.

Pink or red flowers will appear in the spring and the leaves of this plant will be red - green. It will grow to about 18 inches. Very pretty and is hardy for zones 3-8. Finally one for the Canadian girls!

Marsh Marigold (buttercup)
This plant will be about 24 inches tall and will sport yellow buttercup type flowers in the summer months. Will also grow in zones 3-8


Spotted Laurel
This is a shrubby plant with evergreen foliage that will produce red berries in the fall. Will grow to about 8 feet and is best grown in zones 5-9

(see dry shade)

Bears Breeches
Tall spikes with white and purple flowers in the summer make this plant a great addition. It will grow to about 4 ft. Good for zones 8-10

Globe Thistle
This plant will show blue globes of spiky flowers in the summer months. Will be about 2-3 ft tall. Zones 3-10

Now should you want to have some annuals in the mix...there are many that I grow in my own shade beds...I even have some full sun plants that do quite well it there!

Lobelia crystal palace
Lobelia (hanging )
Forget me not
Snap Dragon
Dusty Miller
My shade is not deep and my beds get about 4 hours of sun each day...(for complete plant descriptions of the annuals, including photos of each...see this post: 5/22/08 called What Makes my Gardens Tick? Plant Directory.)

Now this is my shade garden a few days has since been weeded and has already changed quite a bit....(thank goodness for warm weather) also...please excuse the mess you see in both of these shots...HEY...I am only one girl!
You all now know all that I know about shade gardening!

Until next time….Happy gardening!

*)*)*) People inspire you or they drain you. Pick them wisely, and watch how you treat others!

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

original posting 7/9/08

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Challenge Taken Part 3: Willow Corner

If you are just tuning into this series, you can access parts one and two by clicking here.   If you have been following along…lets get started!
When last we met here, I left you with a preview of the area at Mr. and Mrs. P’s farm I like to call Willow Corner. 
It’s not a terrible space the way it is…but it could use a little “something” to make it fantastic…don’t you agree?
I stared and stared at this space.   I racked my brain…Mrs. P wants this area to be a vignette that says relax…a still life that represents both nostalgia and a new beginning.   
The space used to be filled with wild flowers and perennial plants.   It is now just a turned soil area where the windbreak of trees meets the rest of the yard.  The flowers in this space were removed, as Mrs. P simply didn’t have the time, the energy or enough interest to maintain and care for them.   We all know that a neglected garden is a mess, and Mrs. P hates mess.
So…This space needs a low maintenance Tootsie Touch.
The chairs and little table will stay.  That is a given.   I need to add some interest to this space and still keep the rustic feeling of this area…hmmmm.
I remembered a bit of a conversation I had with Mrs.P earlier that week.   She said they love the way the pine trees make their own ground covering…like a carpet below them.   This gave me an idea!  I will make a primitive floor for this space!
I ran to the junk pile and got myself busy!
Once I got things going, and decided on the round rather than the square posts…I was good to go…this space started to flow…and it just kept getting better and better as the time went on!
I had tried a little of this and a little of that in this space…what didn’t work got stuck over here in the corner, to  wait for me to either find it a home, or put it away.  At one point Mrs. P walked up to see how I was doing and noticed it.  She thought I did that on purpose and likes it right where it is…so it stays!
I added a few more pieces of junk to that area…and some driftwood that they had collected on vacations from years past…I also moved a large concrete paver to this space.   It was one that the grandchildren had made with hands and feet prints.   This area became a bit of a memory garden so to speak.
…It seems that this entire area just got a little bigger!  lol
Mr. P is VERY protective of ALL of his trees….so there was NO pruning of any kind happening…I needed to be able to work around them…and I did.   Around, Under, Between and Beside… I even managed to find inspiration in them!  
This space is looking “okay” but not floating my boat the way I want it to ….YET.
It feels like something is missing.  
Ahhh….that’s much better.   I added an archway, and a few plants.  Those ferns that everyone loves so much are coming in very handy!!!   I will plant a vine in the archway…and talk Mrs. P into a couple of potted flowers…and that should finish my space!
I added one last thing.  I put a carpet of pine needles and cones in the wood floor, and added a few little special things here and there.  Mrs P loved it!
I just can’t seem to get the photos to make this space appear the way it does in person.   It is beautiful…calm and loaded with family memories.  It is exactly what Mrs. P wanted it to be.   She loves the potted flowers…loves the ferns …and is pleased as punch with the entire thing in general!
Next up…
Granny’s Garden.   This is going to be a challenge!!! 
Stay tuned…You will probably be surprised at the finished project!

That’s it for me today…I have loads to do today and need to get started!
Until Next Time…Happy Gardening!

*)*)*)   Never regret doing something that made you happy..

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

Did you miss part 1 and 2?
Part one of challenge taken:  The Bike, the Cream Can and the Tree.
Part two of challenge taken:  Birdbath corner

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Challenge Taken part 2. Birdbath’s Corner.

Hey!   Glad you popped by!   I am just about to share the second installment of the Challenge I took to Tootsie around in a farm yard with little to no flowers!

If you missed the first part about the Bike the Cream Can and the Tree,  you really should go back and have a look…it tells the entire story of how I ended up taking this challenging project in the first place.  Click here if you wish to start on part one!

This is where I left you…and I showed the view of the next space to be done.

Things here are simple and plain. Nothing to draw the eye and there is much potential in it’s “bones”.   I had direction from Mrs. P to do “something…anything” to make it pretty!

Lets take a closer look:

This is not a big space..The little fence was put up years ago to keep their son from driving his quad through the trees to get to the house.  There is a little bit of gravel and some shards from an old clay pot that bit the biscuit years back.   I stared at it for a while…and got an idea!

In my discussions with Mrs. P, I learned that Mr. P loves to have birds of all kinds in his yard.   I recalled seeing a birdbath in the stash of  things I was given access to use anywhere I saw fit.   I grabbed it…and popped it right in the middle of the alcove.   I then went to my truck and grabbed the two honeysuckle vines that I had picked up in town on my way out here that morning.   I then threw in another clay pot, arranged the broken shards and stood back. 

 It still doesn’t seem finished!

BeFunky_BeFunky_021 for Carol.jpg
That is MUCH better!   I know Mrs.P likes her solar lights and there were a few in my truck…along with a pot of Dusty Miller that I planted in the greenhouse this spring.   I just needed to re-arrange things a little bit and this space is DONE!  

The vines will attract humming birds and butterflies…they will grow up and use the Karagana bushes as support…the birdbath is in a sheltered area and creates a focal point for this otherwise bland space! 

When I showed it to Mrs. P.    She was very happy…she loves it!

She also loves the “accidental” placement of an old window…

In my travels back and forth from the shed with different items to try to use in this space, this old window fell off the wheel barrow.   I didn’t want anyone to step on it, but didn’t need it at the time, so I just popped it in here and left it for a bit.   The old window now has a home right where I popped it!  haha!   What a happy accident!

The second space was complete and the next space was screaming for my attention.  

I affectionately named this space Willow Corner…What do you think I will do here????

Stay tuned…You will probably be surprised at the finished project!

That’s it for me today…I have to keep things down to a dull roar…somewhere along the line the last two weeks I managed to over do it on my arms…and inflamed my shoulder injury…my arms are numb (sleeping) and my fingers hurt like crazy to use…so for now…that’s it…that’s all!

Until Next Time…Happy Gardening!

*)*)*)   In order to appreciate your successes you must first appreciate your struggles.
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.
Did you miss part 1?
Part one of challenge taken:  The Bike, the Cream Can and the Tree.

A Challenge Taken. Part 1: The Bike, the Cream Can and the Tree.

A while back, Grammie  (my Mom for those who are not familiar with this site yet)  decided that Tootsie needed to put some business cards for Tootsie Time on the counter at the store she owns, so that people can see this site.

I made some up and set them on the counter for her customers to pick up as they paid for their shoes, and that is where today’s story will begin.

A little more than a week ago, a regular customer, and VERY nice lady was in buying a pair of shoes.  ( we will refer to her and her hubby as Mr. and Mrs. P )  She picked up my Tootsie Time card and took it home.  That evening, she had a little bit of spare time, so she decided to take a peek at what goes on here!   As it turns out, she loved what she saw enough to email me and ask me to come out and “Tootsie” up the joint a bit!  Needless to say, I graciously accepted.

A few days after her email, I drove myself out to the family farm where she and her husband live.   We met, chatted and toured around their home site, discussing a few areas that she would like me to Tootsify.   Normally being asked to do my thing in someone else’s yard is a huge undertaking, but it is not it the challenge of my skills that this task was going to be.  Mrs. P wants me to Tootsie around in her yard, wants her “junk” placed into vignettes that I am to create, she and wants it all low maintenance…with no flowers.  
Did she say NO FLOWERS?????   


How on earth am I going to pull this off with NO FLOWERS???

Never in history has there been a Tootsie project done that didn’t include flowers!!!

This is a beautiful yard.  Simple, Mature and very clean.  There are a million beautiful little spots that could become fabulous here!   Mrs. P has chosen just a few of these special areas to be spruced up…just a little.  This tree line is one of those spaces. 

During my tour of the yard, Mrs. P showed me her stash of special “junk” that she had saved over the years.  There were old windows, antique cream cans, little nick- naks and best of all…her pride and joy…a lovely old bicycle.   I was instantly inspired to get busy!

The next morning bright and early I got myself out of town and onto the hi-way to begin my new project.   I had lots of time to collect my thoughts on the way there because it is approximately 40 minutes from home.   This was perfect…I could make a bit more of a plan on the way there.   There is just one little thing I am very nervous about…HOW on earth will I make this work with NO FLOWERS????

I arrived…and was instantly greeted by a very excited Mrs.P.   She could hardly wait to add a little bit of new interest to her yard spaces!   She chatted a little bit and then I went off to do my “thing”

This yard is rather large…and I needed to make some pretty happen along the drive way up to the house…as she was concerned that it was too “boring”.  

I got into the shed where the “good stuff” was stored…and pulled that wonderful old bike out.   Mrs. P adores her old bike.  She really wanted it to stand out and have a special place in the garden.   Fortunately, I have a big imagination, and a plan already formulated.   I dragged the old bike down from the back of the yard all the way to the beginning of the drive way, stood back and looked at where I originally wanted to put it…and HATED IT!

BeFunky_011 (2).jpg
I wanted to place it here!   Under a tree!   I looked horrible there!   Think Tootsie …THINK!   As I stood there looking at the bike, trying to realize a new plan, I looked to my right…and saw the most beautiful spot.

BeFunky_032 (2).jpg
What a beautiful old tree!!!   The dappled shade and all the surrounding shrubs and trees make this space PERFECT for the wonderful old bicycle!   I literally was giddy with excitement!  It is a darned good thing Mrs. P was busy doing other things, she would have thought me insane with the way I was talking to myself!

I grabbed the bike…placed it up against the tree…and zipped myself up to the back of the yard for some more “junk” and a piece of firewood I spotted in the wood shed during my tour.
Ta-Da!!!!   This is what I ended up with!   I added the cream can, old wooden pot, and that tree stump.   I also raided another area of the  yard for a few maiden hair ferns.   I LOVE IT!!!!  The ambiance of this area is perfect to just BE.   So…

I added a chair!

Now that’s more like it!

I just needed to talk Mrs. P into a few flowers…just a couple…and I will be finished here.

Even if she says no to the flowers, This space will still be wonderful…but…I am Tootsie…and Tootsie NEEDS flowers, like she needs air…so…I offered a few small flowers…and…

She graciously accepted.


That was close..ha ha…  Not as many flowers as I usually add to things, but hey…it’s a start.   I will eventually turn this sweet lady into a flower fiend like me!  

Mrs. P LOVES the little vignette!

If you are wondering what the bright green rectangle off to the upper right of the photo is, it is a little touch of humor that we added from her stash of things she wanted to use in the garden.

Isn’t it cute?   It just added a little fun to this space.

I love the feeling this space gives as one looks at it. 

Peaceful, Graceful, Calm…just what Mrs. P wanted!

So far so good…I managed to Tootsie with almost no flowers…

Off to the next space in the yard!

What ever did I do here?  

Stay tuned…I will reveal the Tootsi-fied look tomorrow!

What?   You didn’t think I was going to share it all today did you???   What fun would that be?  :) 

Thanks for popping in today…I can’t hardly wait to share what this little space looks like after I played with it!   See you here tomorrow…!

Until Next Time…Happy Gardening!

*)*)*)   The common 'eye' only sees what's visible on the outside, and judges by that. The loving eye pierces through the visible and reads the heart and the soul.

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.