Welcome to Cherie Walda’s shade garden.
My husband and I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We moved here in 1987 to an acre of land with maple, pine, ash, and hickory nut trees. Grass and plants refused to grow among the maple tree roots and shade. We then discovered hostas, and that began the addiction. Now over 300 different varieties of hostas and perennials have come to live among us—or we have come to live among them. Recently my husband has included raised beds to accommodate more plants and to thwart the maple tree roots.
Ten years ago we lost ash trees, so now we have more sun, allowing us to include more varieties of sun-loving plants.
Including hostas in all textures—smooth, rippled, and corrugated—resulted in a feast for the eyes. The question was how to get more color. What a labor of love to accomplish this goal. I love cobalt blue, and I discovered blue wine bottles. Perfect! Then after joining the Indianapolis Hosta Society, I was able to collaborate with other shade garden enthusiasts. With much research, I discovered hellebores (favorite), Virginia bluebells, lambs’ ears, bleeding heart, Pulmonaria, celandine poppies, Epimedium, mountain bluet, jack in the pulpit, and more.
My favorite hostas include ‘Sagae’, ‘Elvis Lives’, ‘Pineapple Upsidedown Cake’, ‘Sun Power’, and ‘Blue Angel’. Oh heck, I love them all.
After 32 years of garden passion, I look forward to the challenge of maintaining my garden as I grow older. Most of the plants are perennial, so spring is low maintenance and like Christmas in May. Adding some tropicals and coleus in pots adds vibrant color and allows me to move the plants around to the perfect spots.
After retiring in 2017, I joined the Trillium Garden Club in Fort Wayne. I have added wonderful garden friends to share my garden joys and challenges.
Perennial hosta garden with blue bottles.
Ajuga (Ajuga reptans, Zones 3–9) and creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia, Zones 3–9)
Watering can with a variety of shade perennials
Mini hosta bed, with other perennials in the background
This raised bed is a tribute garden to my mom, who passed away in 2018.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.