Variegated Pachysandra – A Plant I Wish I Had a Spot For

Seen here is one plant I wish had the ideal location for it to grow. Ideal location you ask? OK maybe I'm putting words in your head but let me add an image too. Think shade, think moist, think well drained, think shade garden. I don't have that place...yet. This little plant was planted in a nearly ideal location in my parent's yard during a garden remodel last spring. I love the variegation in shade plants and this evergreen groundcover is a good one. Pachysandra grows fairly slow and will take a couple years to fully establish as a groundcover. Of course you can help your groundcover along when planting by spacing the plants closer together. That means more money on the front end for faster gratification. To reduce your cost you could propagate pachysandra by stem cuttings. Propagating pachysandra is fairly straightforward. Take a stem cutting with a leaf…

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Two Shade Garden Plant Combinations I Like

Here is a post I meant to publish over a month ago and it just got lost in the abundance of things to talk about this growing season! I have added a couple updated pictures.In our corner shade garden we have hostas, heucheras, an oak leaf hydrangea, coleus, and astilbe. It's fun to play around and see what plants look good together. I don't have much shade to play with and so this garden gets filled to the brim which can create some neat variations on the shade theme.The first combination here is the white flowering astilbe in front of a 'Mocha' Heuchera. 'Mocha' has some really dark foliage which would also look great next to some lime green heucherellas or hostas. The other combination I'm pleased with in the shade garden uses only heucheras. Earlier in the spring I wrote about wanting to add 'Silver Scrolls' heuchera to the…

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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…

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How to Make a Dry Creek Bed for Downspout Drainage

The other day I just happened to have some extra stone that I had bought a few weeks ago on a large palette with some miscellaneous landscaping supplies. I thought that a dry creek bed might look better than the cheap looking plastic tube that was attached to the end of the downspout so I started putting one together using those stones. It took about 4 partially filled bags of stone and a little landscape fabric to complete. It's a simple enough project to complete in 30 to 40 minutes. First I cut landscape fabric to fit the area. Landscape fabric is good for this use since it is porous and will prevent weeds from underneath. It won't stop weeds that blow in so future weedings will be necessary. I made a triangular shape for the part closest to the house then overlapped other pieces of fabric toward the outside…

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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,…

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Beefing Up the Shade Garden

When I went to the plant swap this past weekend I was hoping to find some shade tolerant plants to add to the corner shade garden. Something new or unique would be a great addition to the shade garden. I saw several hostas at the swap. Almost everyone loves them (I don't know anyone who doesn't) and they are easy to divide which makes them a great plant for trading. Even though we already have several hostas in our garden I came home with two more. I just can't resist a hosta. One of them is very small plant (not pictured yet) that I'll just place in a pot for the summer and keep it in the shade garden. The other does not have a name but it seems to be a fairly common variegated hosta.The night before the swap I was contacted by someone who wanted one of my…

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