Three years ago I redid a corner spot along our house and turned it into a shade garden. Two plants were present when I started to install the shade garden: a privet (ligustrum) and a cedar tree. I removed the privet mostly because I didn’t like it and removed the cedar due to a bagworm infestation I had early last spring. I replaced the privet with an oak leaf hydrangea and plants a ‘Constellation’ dogwood tree near where the cedar tree was. The dogwood isn’t an evergreen tree and isn’t as selectable to bagworms. Let’s take a look back.
Here is what the Corner Shade Garden looked like three years ago. The hostas and heucheras were very young, coleus was planted in a few locations (a great annual to add a little color to a shady area), and the oak leaf hydrangea was small, very small. I tend to plant smaller plants because of the value and because the smaller root system can better adapt as it grows to the conditions of the area. I’ve always liked hostas but because I knew rabbits and deer lived nearby I planted the heucheras interspersed with the hostas. Deer and rabbits don’t ever touch our heucheras and mixing things up a little seems to have helped the hostas. The only deer damage our hostas have seen appeared after the tall flowering stalks appeared. The flowers were nibbled off that first year but have been fine ever since.
Here is the shade garden now in late May. The oak leaf hydrangea is in full bloom and actually needs trimming to allow access to the gas meter. Some of the heucheras and hostas have been divided not just to spread them out but also because they were getting large. There’s even a stone border now that wasn’t present in the 2008 Corner Shade Garden. It’s amazing how things change over time! See below for a list of plants that currently reside in the Corner Shade Garden.