Let me begin with the disclaimer that I am an absolute novice gardener and I have been known to have a black thumb on occasion. I do take an interest in what goes in my flowerbed, but usually I pay someone to bring the plants and plant them. But this year I decided to do it all myself. I have had a really tough time with my flowerbed this spring. You see I have a north facing home and my flowerbed is mostly in the shade. I detest shrubbery and I adore flowers, so you can tell that I have quite a dilemma on my hands. A few years ago I planted some Day Lilies in my flowerbed along the border where I do get patchy sun. They are pretty big, but they are only in a few spots and I wanted more variety and color.
I Googled Texas shade plants and could find nothing that flowered and that I thought was pretty. I went to the plant store and found nothing except for Impatiens. Not cute. I was yeaning for Gerber daisies and Snapdragons and all sorts of sun loving pretty blooming flowers! I knew that I had a tiny patch that saw sun for about two hours and I did plant three little Snapdragons there. Snapdragons, I read, were good for part sun. I was hoping and praying that they were going to be happy. I also planted some Lobelia in another part that gets about 2 hours sun as well.
I knew there were no alternative to the Impatiens so I bought a few different types and tried them out. After about a week, the impatiens began to grow on me and my Snapdragons looked very sad. The Lobelia was droopy. I added some Caladiums that had little blotches of red in the leaves for some variety. No flowers, but at least they are pretty and flower-like. But I had to dig up the Snapdragons and plant them in a container in my south facing back yard.
Well after about another week the Impatiens were fluffing out. They were flowering and every time I backed in or out of my driveway I was gazing at them. The Lobelia looked like it was dying, so I dug that up and planted it in my mom’s yard. I gave in to the superiority of the Impatiens in a shade garden and bought more and planted more. I also remembered that I had an Agapanthus once in a shady spot, so I bought one and planted it in a tiny, sometimes sunny, spot under my Japanese Maple. I also got a Diascia and planted it where the Snapdragons used to be. It was very clearly labeled “2 Hours of Sun” and I knew that would work!
So now that I have stopped trying to make my shade garden into a sun garden, I am finally happy. There is definitely a lesson to be learned and although I think it’s kind of obvious, I have never shied away from stating the obvious! You can’t make a shady garden into a sunny one and you can’t make things be other than they are. The minute you give up trying to impose your will, you will find peace! :)
If you have any links to good Gardening Tips, I am obviously in need! Send me some pictures of your gardening handiwork with a little back-story. I’ll post them here and we can have a contest and vote for the best one! Carrie.Davis@AntaresHomes.com