Garden Photo of the Day

Spring in Dallas

Beauties in a shady garden

Today we’re heading to Dallas to visit with Cindy Bolz.

You have shown my photos before (Collecting Japanese Maples). My garden is always a work in progress, changing and evolving year after year. I am a Master Gardener, and my garden was scheduled to be on the Dallas County Master Gardener tour this year.
Alas, the tour was canceled because of coronavirus stay-at-home restrictions.

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese mapleHere are some spring photos from this year. My obsession with Japanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) continues, and in this first photo the red one is ‘Bloodgood’.

‘Garnet’ Japanese maple‘Garnet’ is a Japanese maple with red, dissected leaves with a somewhat weeping structure.

full-moon mapleThe third photo shows a full-moon maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ Zones 5–7) that is a beautiful green tree growing only to 8 to 10 feet in height with spectacular large green leaves.

azaleaMy garden is shady, with a canopy of four large pecan trees, so I do not have lots of flowers requiring sun. Instead, I rely on textures, leaf shapes, and plants that will flower in the shade, like this azalea.

Chocolate chip ajugaChocolate chip ajuga (Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’, Zones 4–9) is another great plant for shade with attractive foliage and flowers.

Black and blue salviaBlack-and-blue salvia (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’, Zones 7–10 or as an annual) will also bloom well in lightly shaded conditions.

foliage bedThis photo shows a ligularia (Ligularia tussilaginea, Zones 7–10), Everillo carex (Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’, Zones 5–9), a Burford holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’, Zones 7–9), hosta, and aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior, Zones 7–11). The light patch is lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina, Zones 4–9).

garden patioThis final photo shows the yard as I see it from the patio.

I have been grateful for my garden during this era of quarantine, and each day I spend time carrying around my nippers and a five-gallon bucket, tending to the never-ending removal of leaves, twigs, and the fuzzy pecan catkins falling this time of year.


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View Comments


  1. PattyLouise 05/18/2020

    Lovely paradise you have made! Enjoy! So sorry that your garden tour was cancelled.

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you, Patty Louise.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/18/2020

    Your Ligularia looks like a real heart throbber...those large very glossy leaves certainly catch my attention. And your placement of the clumps of the fine leafed 'Everillo' right next door to the Ligularia certainly makes for a stunning grouping. You have a beautiful garden to work in during these concerning times of quarantine.

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you! That ligularia might be the most noticed plant in my entire garden. 😃

  3. cheryl_c 05/18/2020

    Very lovely gardens! Can you tell us what the bush/ground cover is in the photo of Full Moon Maple? It looks similar to a Missouri native called maidenbush. And are there two different species of lambs ear in front - or is the light just catching them differently? Thanks for a very pleasurable tour.

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      I live that plant —Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, commonly called coralberry. I like any plant with opposite leaves and this one is a stunner. Please know it is considered invasive in some areas and while it wanders a bit I have not found it anywhere else in the garden after fifteen years in this spot. And you have a good eye on the two varieties of lambs ear. I must have bought some additional plants not realizing they were different. Those on the right are blooming right now.

      1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

        I “love that plant” not live that plant. I only see my typos after the post.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/18/2020

    That full-moon maple is out of this world!

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you!

  5. user-5117752 05/18/2020

    Ahhhh, such a beautiful garden. I, too, love that Full-Moon maple. I've certainly never seen it before. You've used all your Japanese maples so beautifully. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos!

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you. That maple is something to see with leaves as large as my palm. I have a couple of them.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 05/18/2020

    They didn't teach you how to design a such a gorgeous garden in Master Garden classes- you were born with that gift!
    That photo with the garden table and the garden around it is so inviting and relaxing! Great job!

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you!! That patio table and chairs replaced a pitiful twenty year old set in prep for the tour that isn’t happening. LOL. I have less design talent than most but my love for plants and trees causes me to find a place. I also copy other garden ideas from Instagram, and hopefully a few people copy mine. You can find me there as japanesemaplesintheshade.

  7. btucker9675 05/18/2020

    What a lovely garden - I'm sorry for all of the people who would have surely loved to take the tour! Just planted that salvia in one of my raised beds where I combine veggies and flowers. It is a real stunner and looks great next to the yellow of a coreopsis. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible talent!

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      I would love to see your mixture of vegetables with other plants. If I had enough sun I would do that. The great thing about black and blue salvia is when someone says they like it I grab a handful and pull it right out of the ground and give them the roots to start their own.

  8. bdowen 05/18/2020

    Thank you for the beautiful garden tour! Too bad that your garden friends can't do it in person this year. Love your Japanese maples- we've tried many times but something about our soil/garden just doesn't work. So we enjoy them in the neighbors' yards.

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you for the kind words. I will give private tours when the stay at home needs have lessened. You may want to try a Japanese Maple in a container if you have not already. Almost all of them do well in pots.

  9. coastalgardener 05/18/2020

    You truly are a Master Gardener! Thank you for such a wonderful "virtual tour." I spend my days just as you do, carrying around my nippers and a five-gallon bucket, and I almost forget that there's a dangerous virus out there. I think many of us have found our gardens to be the one thing in our lives that continues on a "normal" course.

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you for the kind words. My garden is my sanctuary more now than ever and I cannot imagine being quarantined without a garden space for enjoying the great outdoors.

  10. jagardener 05/18/2020

    Those of us with a garden to tend during this difficult time are indeed blessed. Your garden looks like a peaceful sanctuary. My zone is Tropical so I can only admire the Japanese Maples. Thanks.

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      You get to grow all those fabulous tropical I can only wish I had. Even as it is, I moved ten or fifteen pots into the garage this past winter, but I would love to have dozens of bromeliads and a yard full of ostrich ferns.

  11. Patchworkgardener 05/18/2020

    You had me with the first picture Cindy. I love shade gardening. Everything looks so lush and healthy. I love both the Bloodgood and Full Moon maples. And that Ligularia really is amazing. I bet you have your first cup of coffee sitting on the patio every morning...I know I would. What zone is Dallas. Your garden is beautiful. I too feel for all the people who missed seeing it this year. They missed a real treat. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Patchworkgardener 05/18/2020

    Forgot to ask....what’s on the rim of the birdbath that looks yellow

    1. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Thank you for your nice comments. I have my coffee in bed before getting up because I cannot sit still if I am in the garden. There is always so much I want to do. The birdbath is a handmade mosaic beauty made by a friend of mine. It is a big hit in the garden. I will see if there is a way to post a photo of it here but if you are on Instagram or Facebook I have photos of it on both..

    2. user-7525974 05/18/2020

      Forgot to tell you my zone is 8A.

      The birdbath photo won’t paste here. A shame because I hoped to show you how pretty it is.

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