Garden Photo of the Day

Miyako’s shady front-yard garden in Connecticut

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

We featured my friend Miyako Kinoshita’s exuberant tropical containers last summer (refresh your memory HERE), and I mentioned her drastically different front-yard collection then. Well, Miyako’s back to share this little bed with us at its peak–just a couple of days ago!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

She has a sweet collection of spring stalwarts and wildflowers in this bed, and when I see it in person when it’s at this stage, I tend to study it, trance-like. No matter how long or how often I see it, I always see something new–amazing for such a small space. Many of these sweet ephemerals will die back come the warmer summer months, but this bed’s fleeting pleasures are part of its charm. Enjoy!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

***OK, everyone, I’m starting to run low on photos (not OUT, just low…), which is ridiculous, since spring is JAMMING out there! PLEASE send me photos of your garden. I love having more than I could possibly process to choose from!***

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

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  1. user-1020932 05/10/2013

    gotta love all the "spring stuff" . always good to see virginia bluebells and trilliums since i can't grow those here at home

  2. cwheat000 05/10/2013

    Howdy, neighbor. I love your woodland collection. I mentioned a few days ago, I have a special place in my heart for woodland gardens. They are like little treasures sprinkled on the forest floor. You have some great plants you don't see everyday. I especially like the cowslip primrose and the mukdenia ( the large multi-lobed leaves behind the Japanese painted fern)?

  3. Miyako 05/10/2013

    It's been a challenge to accommodate things like blue bell as they go dormant and I have to have a plan to cover that space. Also full shade space has a challenge with hight. I want more height in this patch but its very difficult to find a tall plant that can take full shade.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/10/2013

    Lot's of wonderful little treasures of the plant world...they would captivate anyone. I particularly enjoy the combination shown in the picture that includes the lovely white trillium, what I think is a dark pink hellebore and the little peeks of blue.

  5. Miyako 05/10/2013

    Cwheat, thank you. I believe I have Podophyllum Peltatum, Mayapple behind the painted ferns. They also go dormant later in the year but rabbit ferns and other ferns cover that space...

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/10/2013

    Delightful and so perfectly "spring"! Great epimedium.

  7. cwheat000 05/10/2013

    Miyako, I should have known it was mayapple. Another one of our neighbors, has one of the best collections of mayapple , I have seen. If you are going south on Aspetuck Ridge, you turn right on Long Mountain and left on Rooster Tail Hollow, and the driveway is on the right. The whole dirt driveway is lined with them. They have such a great shape. I like how you placed it next to some more finely textured plants.

  8. MichelleGervais 05/10/2013

    Miyako, you might try a goats beard next (Aruncus dioicus), and maybe a 'Sun King' aralia. Both would add height.

  9. trashywoman62 05/10/2013

    Miyako, the delicate nature of the woodland blooms is beautiful. I envy your collection. I love the bluebells.
    Do the primroses withstand your winters or were you a victim of the vibrant blooms at the garden center this spring? I have not had much luck keeping them thru the winter so resisted them this year. The yellow is wonderful for brightening up your shade.
    You mentioned height was a challenge. I have a lot of shade also and have good luck with Clethra ainifolia 'Ruby Spice' or Summersweet shrub in practically full shade and I still get the sweetly scented pink blooms and great yellow fall color.

  10. Miyako 05/10/2013

    My primroses, both kinds, love my garden. I bought 2 of then 5 years ago, and I have decided them almost each year... I gave away some last year. It is quite sheltered by the house and maple trees. They are well protected. But I hear many of our friends with no luck with primroses, I am just lucky.
    Thanks for the tip for plants with height. I would love more suggestions!

  11. trashywoman62 05/10/2013

    Wow, it's nice to know that they really do grow and multiply in the garden. I had resigned myself to thinking they were produced as a hard to ignore Impulse item. I would love to see those in my shade garden but not much winter protection and clay soil...well maybe I will give one another try next year.

  12. ncgardener 05/10/2013

    Beautiful garden. I have a shady area that I am trying to interject some color into it. many shady gardens just have variations of green, I love your colors.

  13. pattyspencer 05/10/2013

    Really pretty garden - love the spring time flowers - too bad they don't last and last and last.

  14. TiraG 05/10/2013

    This is very pretty, though I really loved the tropical container collection. Being from the tropics and all!

  15. Luvfall 05/10/2013

    I am a fan of the Hellebores as they don't disappear. You might try cimicifuga for some summer-long height. Black Beauty's white flower stalks brighten up a shady spot.

  16. Miyako 05/10/2013

    Hi, luvfall, and thank you for the suggestion. I have one but its really slow going... Maybe too shady it doesn't get bigger... It's still small after 5 years.... Love the way it looks and wish it likes it better:-(. Any suggestion how to make it happier?

  17. tractor1 05/10/2013

    I like shade loving plants for their interesting foliage.

  18. tractor1 05/10/2013

    I meant to add that I also like the small understory trees for a shady spot, redbud forest pansy makes a wonderful focal point for a shade garden.

  19. bee1nine 05/10/2013

    A delightful collection of shade loving plants you have
    there, Miyako! All so nicely mingling together with their surprise colors!!

    A suggestion on a plant I LOVE for the shade(though considered an annual) is the Fuchia(Gartenmeister). It has
    orange/red tubular cluster-like flowers. The plant will fill
    out and reach about 18" and bloom till frost.
    The hummer's love it, too.

  20. Luvfall 05/11/2013

    Miyako, my Black Beauty are in dry shade under a birch tree. It did take them a few years to get going but they now produce seedlings that my gardening friends are happy to take. In a more moist area I have Yellow Wax Bells (Kirengeshoma Palmata) which gets 3 to 4 feet tall.

  21. janeeliz 05/11/2013

    Such a sweet collection of woodland treasures!

  22. Miyako 05/11/2013

    Thank you, luvfall. Maybe I will let it try a bit more.

  23. delancey 05/17/2013

    Catching up on the GPoD: your garden is lovely, Miyako! I'm in zone 5, and have two types of Ligularia in my moist shady bed. The one with a tall stalk of golden flowers blooms earlier; the golden daisy-like variety blooms in late summer. Astilbe also thrives in the same bed. I love Goat's Beard, which is in a drier shade area, and I think I'll add some Black Beauty, thanks to luvfall's suggestion. I didn't think it'd grow in drier shade and the moist shade bed is full.

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