The Corner Shade Garden Through Time

The Corner Shade Garden Through Time

The evolution of a garden is an interesting thing to look back at from time to time. For this month’s Gardening Gone Wild Garden Design Workshop: Made in the Shade I thought I would take a look back at where my corner shade garden was and where it is now.

Here it is last year before most of the work was done to it.

I removed the large ugly frost damaged bush from the back corner which left the corner bare.
Then I spent some time weeding the strawberry plants throughout the year. Those things are still coming back. In the garden went heucheras and hostas.  Eventually I added an oak leaf hydrangea.

The plants gradually grew, as plants are known to do, and I added a natural stone pathway through the garden for the gas meter reader person. I thought that for the meter reader’s convenience and the safety of my plants this was necessary! Coleus that was rescued from the discount racks was planted and new plants like Soloman’s Seal were added from a plant swap.
This year I’ve added a few things to the area like the dry creek bed I put together to guide rainwater away from the house. Just to the right of the dry creek bed is a Japanese maple that was another rescued discount plant I bought at the end of last season.  The stone border was a new addition I added around the garden this year. It’s made from gathered limestone which is common in every area in Middle Tennessee except for my yard. I’m not sure I have a single rock here that I haven’t imported!
Here’s a look at the foliage in the shade garden all filled out. The edges of each plant touch and slightly overlap which helps to reduce moisture loss from underneath.  Not that that has been a problem this spring! We’ve had an over abundance of downpours this year. In fact we’ve probably forgotten what the word “drought” means but we should always keep it in mind as it could strike at any time. 

Here is the shade garden from the other side of the Arbor. I’m pleased with its progress but it will gradually change over time as the oak leaf hydrangea gets larger. I’ll probably end up having to move heucheras further out but that’s not a problem since that will give me an opportunity to divide them and you probably know that I like more plants, especially when free!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this post for the GGW Design Workshop, Dave. It’s so interesting to see progressions like this one. You sure did a nice job spacing your plants; they’re mingling nicely now but not smothering each other. Hooray for mulching with plants!

  2. Hello there Dave ! (my Dave is out on the deck again .. but in the rain, oops ! haha)
    There is nothing better than seeing a sequence of before and after pictures of a project like this. I love the stepping stones .. I am working with a few meters here as well and I have to do that to keep my shared space plants from being crunched by the meter reader.
    Great result and YES! we constantly change our gardens .. it is a given ? : )

  3. Wow, Dave! I can’t believe how well your plants filled in in such a short time. You’re definitely doing something right!

  4. I love seeing these, that is why I just posted one of mine, lol. I swear I didn’t see this post first. That area really look special now.


  5. Very nicely done Dave. I’m always looking for shady ideas. I tend to stay away from rock edging because of slugs. You don’t have slugs? Be glad to give you all the rock you can carry. up here in Lancaster Pa we dig it up everytime we stick a shovel in the ground,limestone.
    Have a happy weekend

  6. Very nice Dave. I like to see the difference in a garden from time to time. It’s amazing of the changes that occur.

  7. You have really transformed this area into a spot of beauty! Rocks are all over our area as well except for our yard! Why is that when a gardener has such use for them…

  8. I love looking at the changes in garden areas. Yours has come along way. The stone path was a great addition.

  9. Those hostas look good! By the way,I have a mystery plant in my garden that somebody said is a heuchera and you mentioned that you have this one. Could you confirm whether it is heuchera? I have put up photos of the same in my latest post in my blog.

  10. Thanks for leaving a path for the meter reader. As a former reader, I have dealt with many problems trying to do my job, yet protect the customers' plants. Often times it's unsafe around the meter as shrubs and trees can hide dangers like bees, scared dogs, debris or have thorns. Creating a hedge around the meter hides the meter yet has it open and accessible to meter readers and technicians, as well as emergency personnel if for some reason your utilities have to be shut off (such as fire).

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