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a place of your own


When you had a perennial garden for many years you’d think there can’t be many plants you haven’t tried but that is not true. New varieties appear every year, better adapted to your growing conditions than their uncooperative kin, more fragrant blooming plants for the shade, more cottage perennial cultivars to substitute those you previously thought too demanding.

I’m getting more adept at shade gardening by necessity, since the new flower beds receive no direct sunlight, and the emphasis this year was on shade perennials. I got quite a few woodland natives that bloom in full shade throughout the summer and fall.

The hostas, sedums, lupines, heucheras, scillas, hellebores, sweet woodruff and daylilies were planted last fall to give them more time to adapt to their new location and grow a healthy root system, but I still have some room left for the prize plants – aconitum – a rare late summer shade bloomer with spectacular blue flowers, fairy candles with their dramatic almost black foliage and their slender pink flowers that smell like honey, vanilla fragrant chocolate vine whose fruit supposedly tastes like tapioca pudding, goat’s beard with its lacy masses of flowers that are very similar to astilbe but don’t share the latter’s unquenchable thirst, lady’s mantle with its fluted leaves that catch rain and dew and make them sparkle in the sunlight.

I haven’t looked at planting more sun perennials other than the herb wheel, there is no more room, really, the plants are overcrowded as it is and if I had the room I’d add another rose. Still thinking about it.

There is always the possibility of expanding the sun border, maybe just a little…