Six on Saturday | In the Shade

Long-standing readers of this blog will know by now that I don’t have a proper front garden to my property. We are in a courtyard shared with four other neighbours and the only outside space is a granite ledge and steps to the front door. To make matters worse it is north-facing so receives no direct sunlight except during the very height of summer when the sun is high enough to reach the very edge of the ledge.

Not to be downhearted I have experimented over the years with various plants that can cope with these conditions in a container, though lots of ‘things’ self-seed in the granite cracks as can be seen in the header image. (Centranthus ruber in case you were wondering).

An Hydrangea petiolaris,  a climbing shrub, is perfect for a shady or north-facing wall. Though slow to get going it is now beginning to produce  huge, white lacecap-style hydrangea flowers. It clings to the wall by adventitious roots.

Climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

I have a normal mop-head hydrangea which I pruned heavily this year so I am not expecting flowers, several Skimmia Japonica shrubs, a Heuchera, Hellebores and fuchsias and ferns. The ferns are looking very good this year. There are so many colours and shapes it is a shame they are not used more in gardens. Of course, this being Cornwall, they thrive here in the damp conditions.

And another plant that likes this side of the house is the popular Hakonechloa macra, pronounced Hack-on-ee-kl-oh-ah – Japanese forest grass and often referred to as Hak mac. Mine is ‘Aureola’ with elegant golden-yellow and green arching foliage which cascades down the steps.

Hakonechloa mac. ‘Aureola’

The greens are added to during the summer with pots of begonias and impatiens to add colour. And I am on the lookout for a rather lovely dark red hydrangea.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Hopefully the hydrangeas will do well and give you much pleasure.

  2. I also love ferns – I have a few ostrich ferns and a new maidenhair fern that is just getting going. Gorgeous things!

  3. No need for shade plants here and they wouldn’t do very well! But I do enjoy shooting plants, so I enjoyed seeing all of yours.

    1. Shade plants not shooting plants. That’s what I get for not checking my dictation before pressing reply. Lol.

  4. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Thank you for the pronunciation – I’ve often wondered. Everything you posted is doing so well, the result of careful thought and choosing, not wild ‘I must haves’ like some people. (Me)

  5. It may be shady but you have filled it with lovely, healthy plants. I particularly like that hydrangea.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m a little concerned that it has reached the roof, but I can’t get to it. Might have to phone a garden company to come and prune it.

  6. Jude, there’s something so fairy garden enchanting about ferns. My heart did skip a beat on seeing your climbing hydrangea.

  7. Ann Mackay says:

    The plants all look lush, beautiful and very happy – clearly all in the right place! 🙂

  8. Tina Schell says:

    Very creative Jude! Hydrangea are among my many favorites. I especially love the blue ones. I’ve been watching your blog for what seems a very long time and had no idea you didn’t have a full garden!!!

    1. Heyjude says:

      My garden is at the rear, it’s not big, but I have packed a lot into it. The front is in a gravelled shared courtyard so one side of a square.

  9. March Picker says:

    Jude, you have made the very best of your spot out front, that’s certain. It looks very welcoming. I never tire of the beautiful climbing hydrangeas here and yours looks equally as vibrant, Jude! Your forest grass is lovely and reminds me to add some in shady spots.

  10. Lynn says:

    Love the various shades of greens that ferns provide. We have a climbing hydrangea along our fence and like yours, it took forever to get going but once it did, it absolutely flourished!

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