A Back Garden Update With (Mostly) Natives for Summer Shade
And this is what the Back Garden looks like in mid-July.
The Back Garden sits under the shade of Silver Maples and Siberian Elms, not everyone’s favorite trees, I know. But they give a high, dappled shade that I appreciate.
The American Spikenard (Aralia racemosa) is blooming with its tiny flowers. This plant has a substantial summer presence in the Back Garden.
The compound leaves have a bold look, though the foliage tends to die back from something later in the summer. You can see the beginnings in the lower right corner.
The Purple Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) is becoming more substantial. It’s blooming more, too, but the flowers are not profuse.
Here’s a close-up of the flowers. The fruits are edible but not very tasty – better to leave them for the birds.
In spring, Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosum) sports frothy white flowers. In summer, they turn into little berries – now bronze, eventually red. My only complaint about this plant is that the stems tend to flop under the weight of the ripe berries. Supposedly the berries (true berries, not drupes) are edible, and one of the common names is Treacleberries. I’m definitely not encouraging anyone to try them, though.
One edge of the Back Garden Island Bed is lined with Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea). Not a native, but it’s such an easy plant, the ferny foliage is nice, and it blooms forever. Self-sows like crazy, but easy to pull out.
Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) blooms behind the Corydalis. I prefer mostly white flowers in the shade, but I make an exception for this perennial. A great plant for gardeners and hummingbirds.
Here’s a look at the east end of the Back Garden.
‘Annabelle’ Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) is blooming against the fence between our yard and the neighbor’s. These are native to Southern Illinois, though not to the Chicago area.
I like how our red bird house contrasts with the white Hydrangea blooms.
That’s it for now. There’s a few other things going on in the Back Garden, like my attempt to plant a sedge lawn, but I’ll write about at another time. Are you enjoying any particular shade plants this summer?