The Corner Shade Garden in Mid-April

The Corner Shade Garden in Mid-April

Behind the location of our future arbor lies the Corner Shade Garden. I planted this garden last year with hostas, heucheras, and assorted other plants after the removal of a sinister privet bush. Privet has become an invasive problem here in Tennessee and I just didn’t like it in this corner next to our house. In its place went an Oak Leaf Hydrangea to serve as the center piece of the garden. The hydrangea was soon surrounded by some of my favorite plants for shade, hostas and heucheras! I planted a few annuals in this area last year like coleus and impatiens but I haven’t planted any for this year yet. I was waiting for the freeze date to pass and just haven’t purchased any yet.

Let me show you how the garden is doing up close!

I have a little cleanup to do with some debris that has collected, but if you ignore that you can see the ‘Ginko Craig’ hostas have filled out. You can even see one of the plants I’ll be using for the Arbor Project.  Well not really, but you can see its pot! What a handsome pot it is.  I’ll give you a hint as to it’s identity, I witnessed a hummingbird visit it twice yesterday. I dropped some rosemary clippings in the garden to hopefully keep any critters with keen noses away. (Yes that means you rabbits!)

The ‘Patriot’ Hostas are one of my favorites among the hostas. I love the variegation. It’s happy planted together with a ‘Purple Palace’ heuchera.  Hostas and heucheras look great together!
This little hostas is an unidentified variety from a box. I bought a little box of hosta roots two years ago and planted them. Most of them never did anything last year, but now they are coming up all over! This green leaved variety has a slight darker green variegation toward the outside of the leaves.
This hosta came to me through the Middle TN Plant Swap last year. It’s grown quite well in its current home. 
Here’s another acquisition from the plant swap variegated Soloman’s Seal. With cool foliage and flowers what more can you ask for?  It’s so cool it probably deserves its own post!
Here’s a glimpse of the garden. The oak leaf hydrangea is still working on filling out its foliage as are many of the other inhabitants. It’s fun to watch the hostas emerge at different times. Each variety seems to have their own way of doing things, some arrive early and some late, but as always a hosta arrives exactly when it means to arrive.  

There’s always work to be done in every garden and this one is no exception. The rock pathway needs more stones to fill in the gaps and the weeding needs done. I suspect I’ll need to move the Soloman’s seal since it’s behind the hydrangea. I was really just trying to find a spot for it last year and plopped it in (plopping in is the technical term) where I thought it would survive our merciless, hot and dry summer. It’s survived and then some. I think this corner shade garden will begin migrating (enlarging) closer to the arbor once it has been completed!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I love hostas when they come out all clean and fresh.

  2. Donna,

    Me too! Hostas are so cool to look at before the slugs attack. Sounds like a new horror movie. “When Slugs Attack!”

  3. I thought the Soloman’s Seal came from Grandma’s house?

  4. I like hostas, too, and am a huge fan of heucheras. Everything in your garden looks like it survived the winter very well, Dave!

  5. My neighbor has some Solomon’s Seal by his house, and this year I noticed I managed to get a bit in one of the flower beds and I am hoping it thrives there.

  6. Looking good Dave!!! I love hostas (especially ‘Patriot’), heucheras, and variegated Solomon’s seal, too. (I also love oakleaf hydrangea, but alas, it doesn’t love me.) Way to go!

  7. It really is filling in quickly. The heucheras and hostas look great. I hope you are enjoying this glorious day outside with the girls.

  8. I love all your plants in the shade garden. I can’t wait to see my Solomon’s Seal, I like the variegation on yours. My oakleaf hydrangea looks like it’s at the same stage as yours, they are great shrubs.

  9. That area looks really nice. I miss Hostas, I never had any slug problems with mine. I can’t wait to see your challenge complete!


  10. Your corner shade garden is really shaping up nicely Dave. I love that you made an Oakleaf Hydrangea the centerpiece of this area. I wish I had room for one, but they get so large & I've run out of shady areas. 🙂

  11. Jenny,

    I think one of them did but a couple others came from the swap.


    Our winters are nearly as cold as yours so it’s not as much of a challenge. None the less I’m always glad when things come back!


    When it gets a location it likes it will thrive! I hope yours does well.


    I’m sorry the Oak Leaf Hydrangea doesn’t get along well with you! I have one in nearly full shade and I just moved one into a somewhat sunny location. They do fairly well here.

    Thanks Tina,

    They do enjoy those nice warm spring days!


    Anytime I can choose a variegated plant over a regular one I do, like with the Soloman’s seal. Foliage definitely grows on me, not really, just figuratively. 😉


    Thanks! I haven’t noticed slugs this year yet. I used a different mulch this year and it may have helped. Rougher ground for the slugs to cover prevents them from reaching their targets as easily.


    I’m working hard to create more shady areas but that takes time. I’m experimenting with an oak leaf hydrangea in a sunny location to see how it does. So far so good, we’ll see how that works this summer though!

  12. You have some great looking plants and color combinations there. The bright green hosta looks familiar…

  13. Hey guess what, Dave? We plopped us some Solomon’s Seal in our garden too! I knew it needed to be moved, but didn’t know just where I wanted it to go, so I plopped it down in the veggie garden last fall. Then this spring they started coming up and I’d forgotten that I’d put them there! Took me a little bit before I figured out what they were. LOL.

    I like your shade garden.

  14. Shady,

    Hmm…could that be the same hosta in your profile? 😉


    The plopping (I think) is a technique that impulsive plant purchasers have perfected over years and years of cultivating plants! I still have something headed your way, but I’ve been awful at getting it in the mail. I really need to get my act together!

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