Friday, May 11, 2018

10+ Numbered and Identified Shade Planting Schemes

1. Hosta 'August Moon' 2. 'Hosta 'Pizzazz' 3. Hosta 'Halcon' 4. Birtchwood Parky's Gold 
5. Sweet Woodruff

Knowing what plants to use in your shade garden is a first step, but incorporating them into a planting scheme can be intimidating. What goes where and how should the whole thing look when you're done? 

To help out, I have gathered some shade planting schemes together in one post. Each example is numbered and one or two plants have been highlighted with further information. There are even a couple of numbered container plantings included.

So let's get started.

Private garden in the Toronto Beaches. See more of this garden here.

A Shade Garden in the Toronto Beaches
The Beaches neighbourhood, just 20 minutes east of downtown Toronto, has the casual atmosphere of a lakeside resort town. If your very lucky your home has a view of Lake Ontario, and even if your not, the lakefront is often within walking distance. Yvonne's garden is as charming as the neighbourhood in which it resides.

1. Astilbe 2. Heuchera 3. Aralia cordata 'Sun King' 4. Bowman's Root, Gillenia trifoliata  5. Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum 6. Ligularia

One highlight from this planting scheme:

Bowman's Root, Gillenia trifoliata is a tough, long-lived native plant with reddish stems, narrow leaves and white, star-shaped flowers. Full sun or light shade. Prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil. Good fall color. Height: 60-120 cm (24-47 inches), Spread: 60-75 cm (24-30 inches). Zones: USDA 4-9.

Shady Container Planting
1. Alocasia 'Low Rider' 2. Wandering Jew, Tradescantia albiflora or Zebrina pendula (houseplant)  3. Sweet Potato Vine, Ipomoea batatas 'Blackie' 4. Spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum (houseplant)

The display garden at Gardens Plus

1. Hosta 'Deja Blu' 2. Hosta 'Solar Flare' 3. Hosta 'Moonstruck' 4. Ligularia 'Cafe Noir' 5. Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' 6. Berry Bladder Fern 7. Hosta 'Brother Stephan' 8. Lily of the Valley 'Hardwick Hall' (warning Lily of the Valley is invasive)

Jamie's Woodland Garden
Jamie has used native plants to integrate her garden into a natural landscape that includes trees that are part of an old growth forest.

1. Canadian Ginger, Asarum canadense 2. Forest Pansy Redbud, Cercis canadensis 'Forest pansy' 3.Sedge, Carex 4. Sedge, Carex 5. Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus 6. Japanese Fern, Athyrium 7. Trillium 8.Astilbe 9. Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris.

One highlight from this planting scheme:

Goat's Beard now comes in small, medium and large.

Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus is the largest of the three and has feathery white plumes mid-summer. The plant has green ferny foliage which is quite attractive in its own right.  Part-shade or shade and average to moist soil.  Height: 120-180 cm ( 47-70 inches), Spread: 90-150 cm (35-59 inches.) USDA Zones: 2-9.

Goat's Beard, Aruncus 'Misty lace' is more suited to a smaller garden and is the medium sized plantHeight: 60-75 cm (23-29 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.

Dwarf Goat's Beard, Aruncus aethusifolius forms a neat mound of ferny foliage with reddish stems. It has short spikes of white flowers in early mid-summer. Part-shade or shade and average to moist soil. Height: 20-30 cm (8-12 inches), Spread: 20-30 cm (8-12 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.

Part Shade/Full shade urn:
1. Alocasia 'Low Rider' 2. Hosta 'Island Breeze' 3. Caladium spp. 4. Purple Waffle Plant, Hemigraphis alternata 5. Scotch Moss, Sagina subulata 'Aurea' 6. Button Fern, Pellaea rotundifolia 

The Little Blue House on the Corner
When you enter the gate of Candace's house, a pathway leads you to a small pond and waterfall. Here is one of the numbered plantings from the shady area of her garden.

1. Climbing Hydrangea, hydrangea petiolaris 2. Solomon Seal, Polygonatum 3. Japanese Fern, Athyrium niponicum 4. Sweet Woodruff, Galium odoratum 5. Carex (grass-like perennial)

Two features from this planting scheme:

Hydrangea Petiolaris, also known as Climbing Hydrangea, is slow to grow, but is very useful as a non-invasive climber for shade. Hardy to USDA zone 4.

Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum: Depending on the cultivar this shade lover can range from 60-120 cm (23 -47 inches) and can spread to 60-90 cm (23-35 inches). Dangling white flowers appear in May and can be harmful if eaten. Sandy, average or clay soil that is on the moist side is best for this perennial. Divide in early fall. USDA Zones: 3-9

Grange Hollow Nursery and Display Garden:
Here is a numbered planting from the area just in front of one of the barns at Grange Hollow.

1. Japanese Fern, Athyrium niponicum 2. Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa 3. Lungwort, Pulmonaria 4. Hellebore "Golden Sunrise" 5. Autumn Fern, Dryopteris erythrosora 6. Hosta probably "Janet" 7.Lamium 'White Nancy' 8. Bugbane, Actaea (formerly Cimicifuga) "Pink Spike"  9. Canadian Ginger, Asarum canadense

Two standouts from this planting scheme:

Autumn Fern, Dryopteris erythrosora When new fronds appear they are coppery-red in color. This fern is evergreen in zones with mild winters. It likes slightly acidic soil and that is consistently moist and rich in organic matter. Height: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA zones: 5-9.

Canadian Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense is native to the woodlands of Eastern north America. It bright green, heart-shaped leaves and insignificant brownish flowers that are largely hidden by the foliage. It will colonize an area and tends to be more vigorous than European Wild Ginger (Asarum europaeum), but is not considered to be invasive. Part to full shade. Sandy or clay soil are fine. Average to moist soil suit this plant best. Height: 10-15 cm (4-6 inches), Spread: 15-30 cm (6-12 inches). USDA zones: 3-9.

No need for numbers here! While this looks like a range of colorful plants, they are all Coleus! I wanted to include this planting to demonstrate that part-shade and shade can have happy colors.

Photograph by Maggie Sale. See more of the garden here.

An Art Collector's Garden 
I featured photographer Maggie Sale's backyard garden a couple of years ago. This spring, I was able to share her love of art along with some pictures of the front garden taken by Maggie herself. 

Photograph by Maggie Sale. 

1. Unidentified Fern (an easy-care fern with a similar look–Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina) 2. Fern-leaf Bleeding Heart, Dicentra 3. Hosta 4. Golden Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea' 5. Japanese Fern, Athyrium niponicum 6. Tassel Fern, Polystichum polyblepharum 7. Miniature Hosta 8. Lamium 9. Variegated Hosta

Two features from this planting scheme:

Hostas have come a long way in recent years! The one pictured on the left has long, tapered leaves. You can also find miniature hosta and cultivars with curled leaf edges. 

Japanese Painted Ferns, Athyrium niponicum have gray-green fronds with reddish midribs. They like rich soil that is evenly moist, but they adapt fairly well to average moisture conditions.  Height and spread vary by cultivar, but this is a low, clump forming perennial. USDA zones: 4-9. Recommended cultivars include: ‘Pictum,’ and ‘Pewter Lace,’ ‘Silver Falls.’ 

Marnie's Country Shade Garden
Marnie lives in the countryside not far from the town of Bracebridge, Ontario. That makes her garden zone 4a.

Over the years, Marnie's shade garden evolved to cover a fairly large area. Hostas form the backbone of the plantings, but there are lots of other unique and unusual perennials, many of which Marnie has grown from seed. 

1. Brunnera 'Jack Frost' 2. Cimicifuga 3. Hosta (unknown cultivar) 4. Astilbe 5. Heuchera villosa (specific cultivar unknown ) 6. Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'

Two features from this planting scheme:

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' has heart-shaped, silver colored leaves that are veined in a bright green. Sprays of blue flowers, which closely resemble forget-me-nots, appear in mid-spring. Average garden soil is fine, but 'Jack Frost' prefers rich soil and moist conditions. Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 30-45 cm ( 12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 2-8.

Actaea simplex 'James Compton' has white flowers tinged with pink and dark, purplish-black foliage. This is a great late summer/fall perennial for part-shade. It requires moist soil rich in organic matter. Part-shade. Height: 90-120 cm (35-47 inches), Spread: 60-75 cm (23-29 inches). USDA zones: 3-9.

A Bird Friendly Shade Garden
One of the biggest changes that marks the shift from winter into spring is the emergence of green leaves. Foliage never looks so fresh and vibrant as it does in the spring! In this bird-friendly garden, foliage is the star.

1 The bright green in the top left corner is fresh growth on a Yew2 In the centre is a blue-green Actaea pachypoda 'Misty Blue'. In the lower right hand corner is the ferny foliage of an Astilbe. 4 Dogwood tree 5Japanese Forrest Grass, Hakonechloa 6. Solomon Seal, Polygonatum

A Key Plant from this bird-friendly garden:

Actaea pachypoda 'Misty Blue' has blue-green foliage and white flowers in spring. In summer the flowers become white berries on contrasting red stems. This plant prefers sandy or clay soil with average to moist growing conditions. Height:60-90 cm (23-35 inches) , Spread: 60-90 cm (23-35 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.

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  1. The Beaches garden is one of my favourites among those you've profiled. I've incorporated a number of the plantings, such as Aralia and Gillenia into my own shade garden. The numbering and identifying is very helpful! Great post!

    1. The Beaches garden was a very nice shade garden. I've added a Aralia and several Gillenia to my own garden.


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