Here are some further additions to the shade bed between the evergreens. I wrote about starting this shady garden bed two weeks ago. There is an hour or two of light hitting different sections of the garden, and some dappled light falling at different times during the day. I’ve been planting more perennials on either side, curving around the tall conifers.
On the left I’ve added a group of Aruncus aethusifolius (dwarf goatsbeard). With its delicate texture, this perennial looks good next to the large, solid textured Brunnera leaves. In this photo you can see the reddish colour of the newer stems, which is very attractive. The new small leaves in the middle are a light green, but the other leaves keep a fresh look. With these neat mounds of attractive foliage, this plant is looking good even before the cream coloured flower plumes decorate the top.
In the upper left corner of the dwarf goatsbeard picture you can see the recent cone scales that are getting dropped as a squirrel works its way through the cones. This squirrel frequently sits on a horizontal branch of the pine above when snacking. These ones are new since I planted the bed, so with enough of these leftover scales, this bed will be self mulching. :)
On the right I’ve enlarged the group of Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’ (lilac fairy barrenwort). This perennial should do well in the drier section of this shade bed. The new leaves on ‘Lilafee’ are tinged with red, which looks especially nice with the other foliage plants.
As the leaves mature, they become a more solid green. Here they are a few days later, with the red tinge fading to the edges, and new red leaves emerging. There are flashes of red on them off and on as they send up new growth.
To the right of the Epimedium, I’ve added some Hosta ‘Ginko Craig’. It was Shady Gardener who suggested this low growing Hosta for this garden bed, and I quite like the way it looks here. This Hosta has medium green foliage with a narrow white margin around each leaf. The little flashes of white add some spark to this extra shady side of the garden bed. This Hosta is similar to ‘Francee’ in colouring, but it is lower growing, with narrower leaves.
The flowers on ‘Ginko Craig’ are similar to ‘Francee’, except they are a light to medium purple, instead of lavender. They have faint stripes on the inside, which are only noticeable close up. I added this Hosta just for the leaves, but the flowers are actually pretty, and don’t detract from the foliage display of the plant. The flower stems of Ginko Craig are short enough to fit under the lower evergreen branches, so this perennial fits the space well.
I plan on planting more perennials in this shade bed, as the garden wraps around the trees. The section on the far left gets more sun, so I might add some Campanula (bellflower), which should do well in the part shade there. I’d like to add some Polygonatum (solomon’s seal) behind the Hosta, for its elegant shape and variegated leaves. The shade plantings are working out so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks next year. Here is a followup post, showing some more shade plantings under the conifers.