A Trip Through the Sideyard Garden

One of the lesser shown areas of my yard this year has been the sideyard and corner shade garden. In the past I've featured it quite a bit but to be honest I've been disappointed with it this year. After I removed a cedar tree in the spring the morning sun began to cook the hostas in the garden. They weren't too happy. When you add up the flooding rains in May and the extremely dry and hot summer you can understand why the garden might look considerably less than perfection. I replaced the cedar tree with a dogwood which in time will look great but until its foliage fills out the shade garden will just have to tolerate a little extra sun.

Recently I expanded both sides of the sideyard gardens. I didn't do much more than move the border stones but it had an immediate effect. The pathway was improved by making it more narrow (down to about 8 feet from 11-12) and the gardens could house more plants. In the spring I will be forced to move several hostas otherwise they will get covered by the oak leaf hydrangea in the corner. It's a good problem to have since inevitably I'll end up dividing the hostas which means - MORE FREE PLANTS!

Let's take a quick tour of the pathway.

Here's a picture from underneath the arbor. On the right is the corner shade garden and to the left is the self-sowing garden. Straight ahead is the dogwood ('Constellation').

Here we are a few steps down the pathway. You will notice the black plastic hardware cloth I have around the trees. That is there to protect the young trees from the deer which have been a constant source of frustration this year. The tree on the left is a 'Forest Pansy' redbud. 'Forest Pansy' redbuds have beautiful purple foliage early in the spring that turns a more normal green through the summer. Straight ahead is a shrub line of caryopteris.

A look over at the corner shade garden shows the hostas are on their way out for the season. the foliage is all wilted due to the frosts this week. 

Further down the pathway you can see the stone border and the caryopteris plants behind it. 

And here is the destination the pathway eventually takes you to. On the right is Russian sage and snowball viburnum while on the left is a redbud, birch tree, ornamental grasses and a few other plantings. If you follow the sight line of the pathway you can see a red maple tree which has dropped it's foliage and the garden shed way in the back.

There's the brief tour of November in the sideyard garden!

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