Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In The Shade Garden

I have been having visitors in the garden for a few
nights. They have been dining at the bird feeder and
have destroyed two of my plastic feeders.
Not only that but they have had the nerve to unhook
the hanging basket of impatiens that are hanging
on the same tree limb and dumping the whole works
onto the ground. So I knew it was probably raccoons
but what was the deal with unhooking the flowers and
dropping them to the ground. The poor impateins were
put back as best as one can after two crash landings to
the ground but they are now pitiful looking.
So I decided to just set the bird feeder on the potting
bench and watch last night to see what happens.
Well after dark I turned on the light and there on the
potting bench were two adult raccoons and three babies.
Not only were they eating the sunflower seeds from the
bird feeder but the three little ones were playing and
digging into the planted pots of flowers I had setting on
the potting table. The little heathens! :-)
And they had the nerve to just stay there eating
and playing as if they were invited guest and
turning their nose up at me.
I grabbed the broom and started after them
to vacate them from the potting table, telling them
not to come back. Afterwards I wished I had gotten their
picture before I chased them off because despite my
anger I had to shake my head and laugh at
the little marauders.
So I am guessing that the baby heathens were more
than likely playing on the hanging basket and
knocking it off of the tree limb. Children get bored
often times at family gatherings and get into trouble.
Don't you think that parents should teach their children
better table manners?

I have so much shade around in my yard so to add
color I have planted a number of Astilbe plants.
They seem to be such a forgiving plant and grow fairly
well in this old clay soil. The blooms on the plants
dry up and add texture to the garden even after they
have stopped blooming.

The white astilbe adds light to the shade.

I have gathered several ferns from the surrounding
woods and planted them in the shady beds along
with some Japanese Painted ferns.

I do not seem to have much luck with Hostas in my hard
soil but I have put two baby giant blue ones in the woodland
bed and an ostrich fern which I am hoping will be much bigger
next year. I planted and Elephant ear bulb but it is going to be
a baby pachyderm instead it appears. The hard clay soil strikes
again. The failed plants in my beds are too numerous to
mention but the need for flowers keeps me trying over and
over again to find shade and clay accepting plants.

What do you all plant to add color to your shady beds?


Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I wish that you had gotten a photos also.

They are marching on my deck every night, and knocking over the pretty blue water feature. But I am concerned that they will attack Bootsie one night, since he is not going home, but hanging out on our deck all night. Bad Bootsie, BAD Raccoons.


Tatyana said...

Hi Lona! This is a nice set of plants for a shady garden. I have bleeding hearts, lily of the valley, climbing hydrangea in mine.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I'm glad to see what you have growing in your shade. I'm working a shade garden now and love getting ideas. The ferns are really pretty.
I have tiarella, pulmonaria and brunnera that all add nice color. I know you grow brunnera too :)

Darla said...

Dang Raccoons! Love the astilbe..need to see if I can grow that here. Hostas also are hit and miss with me. I just planted a row of hypoestes (pink blush) to use as a ground cover in a mostly shaded area. Jacobina is a good one too.

Outside In said...

Wish I had a shaded bed, I have to plant the astilbes and ferns behind the Quick Fire Hydrangeas for shade.
Your astilbes looks great. The coral bells and japanese anemones are great for more color in the shaded areas.

JOE TODD said...

Raccoons and groundhogs give us no respect.

Dirt Princess said...

Gives me some good ideas for my shade garden. Mine is almost COMPLETE shade. How well with the astilbe do there?

Phoenix C. said...

I've never seen a raccoon in real life - they sound mischievous!

I love those astilbes - they look so fluffy and I like the little round pearl-like buds.

What do I plant for colour in shade? Mainly foliage plants really - I quite like to have white and green with variegated foliage, rather then coloured flowers, to create a nice mysterious feel to the shade!

CiNdEe said...

I love your post(-: Raccoons are a pita but they are cute(-: They are not welcome here though.
I just bought a Japanse painted fern this past weekend. I am hoping it survives here in the heat. I put it in the shade so we shall see. I always wanted one to try. I also got a deer fern. SO far so good on that too(-: I have shade here but its still hot in the shade.)-: Your plants look so healthy and thriving! I guess they like the clay soil(-:
Hostas don't grow for me. I think snails like them to much!

madcobug said...

I bet those recoons were a sight to see LOL. That white Astilbe plant is beautiful as well as your other flowers. Helen

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Thanks gals! Now I have added to my list of have to haves: Anemones, Bleeding Hearts,Coral bells. It just never ends does it? ;-)

Astilbe grows great in my all shade spots Dirt Princess.

Cinj said...

Don't forget the fern leaf bleeding hearts. I have four colors of astilbe in my shade garden. Such a pretty plant!

Those silly raccoons. It totally sounds like something I would do though. LOL. Oh well, at least you have the memory of the story written down?

Sabrina said...

We're growing astilbe for the first time, and although the original flowers appear to be drying up, it looks like I'm getting a second set of shoots. Is that typical? I was thinking I should cut back the old flowers to encourage the new growth, although you say you leave yours. Does it make any difference?

Is that last photo tiarella? We also planted that for the first time, and it's doing terribly. The brunnera, heuchera, and hellebores in the same bed seem fine, so I don't know what the tiarella is missing. Anyway, glad to see someone's is doing well!

texasdaisey said...

Very beautiful.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

My astilbe never comes back for a second bloom if I cut it back. When the leaves start to turn I usually cut it back.
Tiarella does well in the spring. Mine is looking sad now too with the hot weather.Yours will be even prettier next spring.

Tunes Photo said...

For the shade I got bleeding hearts, hostas, Polygonatum multiflorum X odoratum (don`t know the english name) and clematis. I think astilbe was a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lona, sorry I've been so quiet. My mom was here visiting, and I was spending all my time with her. I haven't peeked at garden blogs in over a week! I don't have enough shade to worry about adding color to it! I always grow impatiens in my small shady patch, but they aren't doing very well this year. I may have told those Japanese beetles that they will not win, but I don't think they are listening. I'm drowning them by the ton, I swear!

Heather said...

Your raccoon story cracked me up. They're funny, but they are very naughty!
For color in my shade garden I grow spiderwort (2 different color varieties), Stella D'Oro lilies (they're done blooming already, but they gave me the most blooms ever this year in the 3 years I've had them!), Jacob's Ladder, Great Blue Lobelia, Hellebore, and some pretty pathetic Columbines. Oh, and the Vinca flowers are nice in spring. I planted my first Astilbe this year, and it's hanging in. I will have to try more next year. I've tried planting bleeding heart, but it was not a happy camper in my garden. Shade and clay... our SEOhio blessings, huh?