Beefing Up the Shade Garden

When I went to the plant swap this past weekend I was hoping to find some shade tolerant plants to add to the corner shade garden. Something new or unique would be a great addition to the shade garden. I saw several hostas at the swap. Almost everyone loves them (I don't know anyone who doesn't) and they are easy to divide which makes them a great plant for trading. Even though we already have several hostas in our garden I came home with two more. I just can't resist a hosta. One of them is very small plant (not pictured yet) that I'll just place in a pot for the summer and keep it in the shade garden. The other does not have a name but it seems to be a fairly common variegated hosta.

The night before the swap I was contacted by someone who wanted one of my red-twig dogwoods. (Those went fast I'll have to make more cuttings for next year!) I looked at her list and saw some heucheras and since I'm a big fan of heucheras I agreed to a pre-trade. I came home with this little Coral Bell called 'Fireworks'. We'll see what kind of sparkle this little heuchera can add to the 'Palace Purples' next door! 'Fireworks' is supposed to have a long lasting flower display from May to August.

Here's another plant that I didn't have that is a fairly common one in gardens: Variegated Soloman's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'). I think this is a pretty cool plant. If you grow it primarily for its foliage you can't go wrong but it has some really interesting flowers in the spring that form along the underside of its stem in pairs.

I brought home four of these woodland plants and placed them near our Oak Leaf Hydrangea. Hopefully the variegated foliage will reflect the variegation in the hostas. They are a little taller than the heucheras and hostas and should add an intermediate height between them and the Hydrangea. My goal for this area is to create a natural looking woodland shade garden.

Now I just need to get some mulch over here!

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