A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Sunday, November 12, 2006

GreenThumb Sunday


I'm "borrowing" an idea from a blogger that I admire very much and nominating this "My Favorite Spot". I hope that she believes, as I do, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

This is the shadiest spot in my yard. It sits under my neighbor's magnificent maple tree which creates dense shade except for a few brief hours very early in the morning. I've been trying various plants for years looking for something, anything that will grow here. After much trial and error, I have finally figured out my mistake. I have been trying to grow flowers here. Except for the liatris, no self-respecting flower will deign to take root. But foliage plants do wonderfully.

So I'm throwing in the trowel and seeing beauty in the shapes and textures of the leaves. I have transplanted all of the liatris to either side of the birdbath. Behind the liatris are ferns that will eventually grow tall enough to hide the ugly fence. They are all different colors and shapes. In front of the birdbath are the non-blooming hellebores which make an attractive groundcover. The hosta, originally from Rutgers Gardens, provides a nice splash of color and will eventually be joined by other, different hostas. The liatris next to it was moved to the other side to make room for English iris which is reputed to grow well in shade, my last shot at growing flowers in that area. The German iris was dug up and given away to two new gardeners who were looking for plants.

I like the way that the birdbath is slowing disappearing into the lush foliage. Its hard edges are softened by the hellebores. Its weightiness is lightened by the airy foliage of the liatris. The ferns will provide a rococo frame for the entire scene.

Now, if only those darned hellebores would bloom!

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long have you had the Hellebores? I've got some that have been reliably blooming the last 5 years or so, and I am trying to remember if before than it took a while to start blooming. Have hope, I'm sure they will bloom in their own good time.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Carol, I think it's been about three years. The plants keep getting bigger and more beautiful, but they don't bloom.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Kerri said...

I haven't tried hellebores but I'd like to. Liatris is another one I need to put on my wish list. So many lovely plants!
That's quite a puzzle that the hellebores refuse to bloom. I hope they do next year for you. You're being very patient :)

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Kasmira said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Kasmira said...

Whew! My last comment went a little haywire...
Your birdbath is lovely. I don't mind you borrowing the "favorite spot" idea one bit!

At 7:31 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Kerri, I'm hoping the hellebores are the type of perennials that need to get to a certain size before they bloom.

Kasmira, thanks! Your "haywire" post made it to my mailbox. I think it's a GREAT idea. I would definitely participate.

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a comment done the other day, but beta-blogger seems to be pitching a fit.

The liatris looks lovely there! Maybe it would be a good spot to try that coleus?


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