The "shade garden" was originally meant to be a fern garden, but it houses so many other types of plants now that it has been reclassified. This site is in full shade, except for a very small dappling of sun in the early morning. I chose a lot of white flowering plants since white blooms show off nicely in shade. This garden is also very lovely in the evening when the white flowers are glowing like stars against the dark background.
This japanese painted fern is from Lowe's. I purchased it last Summer, and although it looked pretty ratty when I bought it, it has recovered nicely. It was only $6, so I gave it a shot and was glad I did. This type of fern dies back completely in the Winter and sends up new fronds in early Spring. The white strokes of "painted" color on the fronds help this beauty really stand out in a shaded spot.
I love the delicate lacy fronds of this maidenhair fern. I purchased this fern from the Jesse Israel Garden Center two weekends ago. I am not sure if this fern is going to be winter hardy in our zone, but since we have several "micro-climates" in our yard I am hoping it will survive. This fern requires a moist location and prefers some peat added into the soil when planting.
This is my 5th attempt at growing polemonium (ie, jacob's ladder). My first four attempts were in mostly sun, and all four plants died, so I am hoping this full-shade planting will be a better fit. This is a blue polemonium surrounded by white impatiens. Blue probably isn't the best color choice for this garden, but I just couldn't resist giving polemonium another try.
This solomon's seal was transplanted from my friend Chleone's garden late last Summer. It has multiplied very quickly and seems to enjoy its new home.
A close up view of the solomon's seal blooms. This plant has been blooming since early April.
This white bleeding heart will die back in mid-Summer, so I planted some caladium bulbs around it. The caladiums should be mature by the time the bleeding heart begins to fade.
I purchased a lot of ferns from Greenwood Nursery last Summer but was very disappointed by the plants. I purchased three potted ferns (two japanese painted and one autumn brilliance) and 20 bare root lady ferns. The bare root ferns looked dead when I planted them, and at the end of the growing season, none of the plants had emerged from the soil. Also, the two japanese painted ferns died within a month of planting. Currently, the autumn brilliance fern is still alive, and two tiny little fronds are emerging out of the 20 lady ferns I planted. I ended up paying $65 for three ferns. I think I got a little ripped off on this deal. Yes, they do have a guarantee on their plants, but you have to wait one year before declaring bare root ferns dead and you have to pay shipping on the replacement plants. It would cost me $24 to replace these plants. I would rather just buy new plants from a local garden center than go through the hassle of replacing these with plants that might suffer the same fate. I have learned my lesson on that one.
I still have a vole problem in the fern garden. I need to spray the area with the vole repellent I bought last year. It seemed to help a little bit. I was hoping the little guy would change his residence to the compost pile, but he really seems to like being close to the house!