My little (mostly) shade garden

I thought I would post a few pictures from my own garden, which this year saw more of us because we weren’t distracted (and made exhausted and dejected) by our allotment.  We had the latter for three seasons (felt like 50) and each successive summer became more trying than the last.  Never-ending weeding, re-clearing and re-clearing again, no stake that could hold up our monumental tomatoes, nuclear bomb-proof horsetail and ragweed plants that mocked us every time we came.  My vision of a veggie plot like this one (at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia):

I wish...
No, this is not my garden…

… ended up looking more like this tangle:

harvest 032
…this was my tomato patch…

But enough of that.  Onward and upward.  I figure to have a veggie plot that looked like the one in Longwood Gardens you’d have to employ a dozen horticulture interns or at least spend 8 hours a day at your plot, taking coffee breaks in your lean-to, like those eastern European gentlemen I have seen who have beet juice running through their veins ….

Back to my little shade garden.


I tend to be attracted to perennials with unusual foliage or flowers that are ‘non’ flowers (like the delicate spires of Heuchera or Heucherella, or the weird blossoms of Astrantia).  But perhaps no plant has thrilled me more this summer than Astilboides tabularisa knock-your-socks-off shade loving perennial that can reach 3 to 6 feet tall while in flower.  Mine hasn’t done that yet, but the foliage alone is worth looking for and seizing this plant when you find it.


 It is possible to get carried away with foliage.  I clearly am in this jam-packed vignette…

…. that I may have to edit next spring.

You can see how small our urban plot actually is in this shot; and much to Skye’s chagrin, we have banished grass from this postage stamp garden.


And looking right, you’ll see the other half of the garden which abuts our ivy-laden garage.


After wrestling the creeping bellflower out of this sunny bed in the spring and giving the celandine poppy a reprieve, I fulfilled my promise to liberate my terracotta “oil jar” from under the back porch.  Now it takes centre stage, with a planting of tropicals that I snagged at the Montreal Botanical Garden’s Great Gardening Weekend sale back in May.

Forgive the exposed rim...

Can you count and name the number of plants in the foreground of this shot (not including the containerized ones)?

And tell me about the rusty sculpture….?


Here is an easier one; just four plants ;c)