My name is Fran. My husband and I live on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. I have gardened most of my life but have intensely gardened since I retired four years ago. Most of my flower beds are partly or fully shaded, and there is a large population of deer and wild turkeys on the island. The deer eat many “deer-resistant” plants, and the turkeys dig up small plants. The sandy and clay soil is also a challenge. But I enjoy gardening immensely! These photos were taken over two years and during spring and summer.
Bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9) with big masses of pink flowers. This shrub is a classic for island and seaside gardens, as it is tolerant of salt spray and likes the moderate temperatures during the winter.
By growing this hosta in a pot on the porch steps, Fran was able to outsmart the deer so far this summer! The potted begonia (annual) in front flowers in the shade all summer.
More annual pots bring color all summer.
The autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora, Zones 5–8) has green foliage in the summer but is especially striking in the spring, when the new growth comes out a beautiful bronze color.
This cultivar of St. John’s wort (Hypericum calycinum ‘Brigadoon’, Zones 5–9) brings bright, chartreuse foliage to the shade garden.
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