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Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Site For The New "Good Neighbor Garden"

I mentioned recently but my brilliant new idea is to make a beautiful garden for my neighbors to enjoy. I'm not sure if this is mostly because I can find no other reason to plant there, or if I'm really just that much of a giver. Traditionally I'm not that charitable, but I have to say this gardening thing has made me see many situations differently than I would have before.

Here's the site of the new Good Neighbor Garden. It's basically full shade all day long. There are some plants that I've wanted to try but couldn't because my backyard gardens are all in full sun, so this really gives me an opportunity to nurture the side of me that is drawn to the shade loving plants like Astilbe, Ferns and Caladium.
The space is about 27 feet long and my property line only goes over about 2.5 feet from the house. Now, I'm sure that the MG ladies next door probably wouldn't mind if I made the garden go all the way to their walkway, but still, I don't need the drama or anger that I'd feel if they had a problem with it. So, I'll just stay on my side of the track. Question: Is that a weed growing right by the house? It has a purpleish flower on it but I looks weedy to me.

Do you have any suggestions for a shade garden that I might try? Are there any vines that like the shade? I was thinking a trellis up the side of my house would be nice.


  1. My best guess is that little plant is a Rose of Sharon. Or a really short Hollyhock. Beautiful either way!

  2. Your flower is definitely some kind of mallow but I can't see the plant up close enough to know any more than that.

    I don't have any good ideas for vines in the shade.

    Not much help, am I? But I am glad you are going to plant something nice over there for the neighbors.

  3. Gina, I have done a lot of research on shade plants and I have not come across any vining ones, sorry. Astible and ferns are great choices, but don't forget hostas and coleus. You can get some beautiful foliage in the shade. My bleeding heart was eaten by something before I got to see it bloom, but they're great too. You can put in impatiens for more color, but they're annuals in your and my zone. I have double-bloom impatiens in hanging baskets on the shady side of my house and they've been great plants for me. But judging by the lush grass you appear to have growing over there, it might get more sun than you think.

  4. Your little blooming thing is a Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus. I think they like sun, but this little one seems so brave I'd leave her there. I'm just a softie...

  5. Hi Gina,

    Vines for the shade ? Try climbing Hydrangea, it loves shade. Another vine-like shrub is Kerria Japonica which blooms in the Spring.

    A wonderful and colorful carefree shrub is the variegated red twig dogwood.

    If hibiscus is growing there you may have more sun or light than you think.

    I'm from the azalea state and I'd have to say 'Karen ' is one of the best.