Welcome to Elizabeth Kring’s garden in Plano, Texas.
After spending my entire gardening life in California, where virtually anything will grow, we were transplanted to Texas, where gardening is a challenge. The first year, I planted a sun garden in the side yard that was a complete disaster. I forgot that heat and sun aren’t the same thing and that the two crape myrtle trees would leaf out and cast significant shade. And the top of the garden, which should be in the sun, actually gets shade in the afternoon from the fence. So I started all over and now have a transitional garden from shade to mostly sun but not enough sun to successfully grow veggies, even though I continue to try tomatoes.
Notice the line of shade from the fence. The tomatoes are in pots, as we have squirrels and bunnies who decimated my first year’s attempt at farming.
Japanese tassel ferns (Polystichumpolyblepharum, Zones 5–8), heuchera, hellebore (Helleborusorientalis, Zones 4–9), sasanqua camellia (Camelliasasanqua, Zones 7–9), and Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum sp.) all seem to thrive in the shade of the crape myrtles (Lagerstroemiaindica, Zones 7–10). The homemade fountain from a couple of pots found at an estate sale draw in a cardinal family every year.
A mystery clematis I dug up from under some bushes and gave a trellis. Apparently it wasn’t happy and decided to add white to its repertoire.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum sp.) has the most beautiful yellow flowers in spring. The ground cover is veronica Georgia blue (Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’, Zones 6–9) and comes back every spring with cobalt blue flowers. Somebody had to “taste” the Hosta ‘Guacamole’.
Even without full sun, the blue fortune hyssop (Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, Zones 4–10) came back and should be covered in bees later this month when they bloom. This was the first year for Pow Wow echinacea (Echinaceapurpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’, Zones 4–9) and Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Zones 5–9).
The sundial is almost useless, but it reminds me of my first year and how fortunate I am to have a shade garden in which to grow hellebores.
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