July 16, 2009
Shade Gardens at Seattle Temple
After planting so many trees in the past year, I realized that I had better study up on shade gardening for the future. While in Seattle last month, my husband and I visited the temple where we were married a decade previously. The extensive grounds include mostly shaded gardens. Pictured above are variegated solomon's seal, burgundy heuchera, fern-leaf bleeding heart, and blue and green hostas.
This shot of the same bed includes a fern and variegated hosta. I have noticed that the softer colors in my front yard are looking washed out lately in the harsh summer sun. Isn't it nice how these colors blend together in the shade?
A periwinkle clematis wound its way through a Japanese maple tree. I wonder if they ever prune it or just let it do its own thing.
I really love this gentle color of blue-violet. I'm using it as the connecting color that will appear in all the color schemes around my landscape. Campanula, lilac, wisteria, delphinium, columbine, big blue liriope, cranesbill geranium, nepeta, lavender, bearded and siberian iris all offer blooms of this color.
There were many different types of Japanese maple growing on the grounds. The leaves are pretty from afar and up close.
If you look closely, you'll see the pink on these variegated leaves. This tree was luminous in the shady bed.
I'll definitely be buying some of these trees when more shade is available in my yard. They're rather pricey, though, so we'll have to start with small ones. The owner of the nursery nearby my house had to dig up a 45 year old lace-leaf Japanese maple while rennovating his backyard this spring. He's selling it in a pot as big as a small swimming pool for the not-so-affordable price of $3,000. Thankfully smaller versions are much less expensive.
It was nice to see more mature hostas around the grounds. With hubby's encouragement (hostas are his favorite plant), I've been collecting various cultivars this year. We have somewhere around two dozen different types right now, but most of them are tiny.
This tri-color hosta was especially showy. Any guesses as to which one it is? 'Great Expectations', maybe?
Here is a closer view of the unnamed delight. I'd love to get one like this. Hosta leaves show more texture and pattern as they mature. Maybe one of the baby plants I'm growing will look like this in a few years.
There were dozens of this type of hosta planted around the grounds. I suspect they are 'Francee', a vigorous white-edged hosta that would be easy to divide and replant . . . again and again.
There weren't as many heucheras as hostas. Perhaps these are 'Crimson Curls' or 'Chocolate Ruffles'.
Here is a final shot of a mature (!) tree and hostas. I enjoyed the elegant colors and peaceful feeling in these shaded gardens and hope to create a similar feeling in my backyard through the coming years.