Garden Photo of the Day

When a shady garden unexpectedly turns sunny

Formerly open shade, now sun.

If a cherry tree falls in Ohio, and no one hears it, did it make a sound? It doesn't matter, because Tim Vojt knows how to make it work. Thanks for checking in Tim!

"When Michelle Gervais photographed my front yard in the summer of 2013, this portion was shaded by an enormous cherry tree. We had to cut the tree down in spring of 2014 and consequently I had to do a bit of reworking of the hill, as I found out what could take more sun and what couldn't. Eventually it will be shady again. The bur oak in the easement is already stretching across the sidewalk toward the sun and a new 'Appalachian Red' Redbud will grow to be a small replacement for the cherry tree. For now, the cherry tree trunk is a sad reminder of what was lost and a great, repurposed container-pedestal." 

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Cherry tree stump

Epimedium bandit

Hakonechloa macra aureola

Hosta nigrescens

Sedum sexangulare and thymes

Top of the hill.

To see more of Tim's garden, check out 'Taming a Slippery Slope" in issue #158! Bonus – here are some Plant ID's from that article.

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Comments

  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/11/2015

    Tim this is still stunning even without your cherry tree. Was it diseased? Ours is 62 years old and limb by limb it is dying I can't bear to cut it down yet, it still blooms beautifully. You have a great collection of Huecheras at the top of the hill by the path they comingle nicely. Comparing the photos from Michelle's shoot what has not survived in the sun? It still looks really full but this is a great opportunity to try new plants. Our new neighbor removed two trees to the west so we have had to move something's also this year. I am so happy you finally sent in some Spring photos I will take more time tomorrow and really expand the photos and look at all of the tiny details.(and I just placed a great order with Far Reaches today I found a plant on a garden tour and was searching for the ID found what it was and you know if you are going to pay shipping why order just one plant ,why not get five )

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Hi Glenda. The cherry tree had been on decline for a few years. My neighbor needed a new driveway which necessitated cutting some large roots that had uplifted his driveway. We though about taking our chances and leaving the tree, but it had a bifurcated trunk and was showing a split all the way to the ground. More things coped with the change than I thought: partly because the oak tree is reaching over and mostly because it is a north-facing slope. I did remove many hostas, a Tellima, Anemopsis macrophylla, a woodland poppy and a few more things I can't recall at the moment.
      I'm itching to know what your ordered. Please feel free to email me directly. You should have my address in an email from Cherry. cheers!

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/11/2015

        I just looked at my email list of GPODers and you are not on mine maybe Cherry would be kind enough to send it to me. You could give her a quick email. Of course I will share my purchase from Far Reaches they have all the cool stuff that I love(lust for) my order is a small fraction on my wish list. Anemonopsis Macrophylla is on the list but F. R. has been out of it. Has it been a good ️️plant for you?

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

          I'm kind of kooky about posting my email address online, however, I realized when I was chatting with NCYarden above that I have the container challenge address. Email me there and I'll respond from my normal account: [email protected]

        2. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

          Never mind. I have your email address. I'll email you.

  2. PerenniallyCrazy 06/11/2015

    OMG those sedum and thyme Tim!

    Everything looks gorgeous and looks like those perennials are enjoying the sun.

    That agave sighting will make Jeff's day. =)

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      That Thymus minus is a continual stunner. That sedum definitely is an OMG, as in, OMG, how will I ever get rid of that thing. It seeds and spreads everywhere. Those cool chartreuse flowers quickly become a yuckky brown. In the right place it is great, but I definitely regret it!

      1. PerenniallyCrazy 06/16/2015

        LOL. Thanks for the insider's reality tip Tim.

  3. user-1020932 06/11/2015

    always a treat to see your place. the hostas don't burn without the cherry? adapting from a sudden loss of a major component is rattling to say the least but you did pull it off perfectly and yes i was happy to see the Agave!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Hey Jeff. I removed quite a few hostas that could not take the sun. Most of the remaining ones do fine because it is a north facing slope. The big Hosta 'Sagae' at the top of the hill does burn some, but it is so close to the new redbud that I am letting it stick it out until it gets more afternoon shade.
      Now, you may have found that agave, but can you name it? :)

  4. VikkiVA 06/11/2015

    What a treat to walk down your street and come upon your slopping masterpiece. From the burgundy of the Coral Bells to the bright yellow blooming Sedum your front garden shouts look at me. I spotted a new plant (to me) that I'd love to try in my garden...Epimedium bandit looks lovely next to the Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa), which I have and is by far my favorite. What is the scalloped leaf plant next to the rock and behind the red Salvia in the last picture? Vikki in VA

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks so much, Vikki. That sedum is great now, but it is an aggressive menace! Epimedium higoense 'Bandit' is a winner. The first flush of spring leaves are all bordered in a dark purple and the pure white flowers are a magical, airy masterpiece in spring. The scalloped leaved plant by the rock is a double-flowered bloodroot. Gorgeous all season long.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/11/2015

    Tim, you must have very positive karma since it looks like your hosta and Japanese Forest grass are continuing to thrive in spite of the increased amount of sun. This is your reward for being in a cooler growing zone. I remember once visiting the garden of a friend in Ohio and I couldn't believe how happy her hosta seemed in more sun than mine would tolerate here in TN. Love that you're using your stump as an opportunity for plant display...puts a smile on my face!

  6. Annek 06/11/2015

    Design perfection! Tim, your plant combinations, use of stone, rock, mulch and pathway make for an extraordinary photo. I can imagine how passers-by marvel at your yard.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks, Kielian. Always a work in progress by trial and error! It's been a great way to meet neighbors.

  7. thevioletfern 06/11/2015

    Just wow - really, this is a rework??? Are you sure things suffered with this cherry change? I'd say they excelled. Sorry about the loss of your cherry but an Oak and oh, Redbud and two instead of one - looks like you roll well with the changes, too. I love the container plant - Sambucus? Or Tiger Eye? Or? Incredible wave of textures, foliage, pops and swirls of color - DESIGN. I have that same Japanese grass but it never took off - I think it gets too cold. LOVE.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks, Kathy. We do grieve for the cherry tree, but the stump is an up-side and it is nice that in mid-summer the front garden is no longer covered in rotting cherries and buzzing flies! Good ID on Tiger Eyes (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger'. I've wanted it for while, but I have enough plants that send out aggressive runners. It actually stayed outside last winter and weathered many below-0 days in that pot. I really should have taken stock of exactly what I moved and what stayed. I did remove a lot of hostas near the top and some woodland perennials from the center. There's a new mugo pine (Jakobsen), a peony, yarrow, antennaria, more sedum and some of the dark leaved heucheras replaced others that burned in the sun.

  8. ILfarmersdaughter 06/11/2015

    Hi Tim. Love how you designed the slope with plants and stones. Each one is beautiful and different. I just bought some Japanese forest grass. Yours are stunning. Maybe a lot of your shade plants can withstand a few hours of sun too. Your garden slope is beautiful. I looked at your previous pictures that were labeled to get more ideas. Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks so much. The Japanese forest grass is one of my favorites. I was very slow to get established, but once it did, watch out! A lot of the shade plants are benefitting from facing north. Also, it's early in the season and I continue to watch to see what thrives and what doesn't.

  9. jagardener 06/11/2015

    Did you lose anything to the sun or did existing plants adapt? It still looks great. Sorry about the cherry tree but great to see it put to new use.Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks. I mentioned in some other responses that I really should have taken stock of what was moved and what stayed before I sent in the photos. Many plants adapted. Some rejoiced, like the blue spruce and Japanese maple at the top. I removed a lot of hostas, light-colored heucheras, woodland perennials and a few other things.

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

    The shade is a big loss, Diane. Now we have blinds on the porch to help with the heat. I removed a large number of hostas, but most of the hostas I left are fine because the hill faces north. The ferns and the big Hosta 'Sagae' at the top will show some burn as the summer wears on, but I'm counting on afternoon shade from the new red bud and the oakleaf hydrangea to eventually help them out. The Hakone grass gets a little burned by the end of the season as well, but you can see the oak branch reaching over the grass and it is starting to give some mid-day shade. I don't want to remove that Hakone grass, although it is starting to escape from it's boundaries!

    1. user-7007140 06/12/2015

      Your garden is beautifully designed and kept, Tim. I'm planning on having some of the Japanese grass sometime, for whenever it is pictured I think how interesting it is. I see from the photos that you continue with the theme that nature abhors a vacuum!
      Your design and combinations of plants is masterful. Great job. The path looks great,too.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/14/2015

        You are so kind, Eddi. I'm excited to show you around in person. I'm glad that you've noticed that 'nature' and I are one: I do abhor a vaccuum! That Hakone grass was so slow to get started for me, but once it took off, I now have it everywhere. Love it! cheers!

  11. NCYarden 06/11/2015

    Oh, Tim, your garden is a treat to the eyes. The elevation of your front just creates an amazing yard mural or tapestry. And I still love the waterfall effect your forest grass creates. The more I stare at it the more I'm convinced it's actually flowing. And the rocks...well, quite simply they ROCK! Just good sound structure, and an element of permanence. I am sorry to hear about the Cherry (they can be troublesome), but it doesn't seem to have really broken your gardening stride. And once again, it's a golden opportunity to play with new plants and go shopping - not that you really need a loss to do such a thing. Like most, we end up doing that anyway.
    Also, Tim, I remember you commenting on an Acer shirsawanum 'Aureum' in a recent post, and about how wonderful that cultivar is...and it is. I have a photo I want to show you from my recent vacation of the best, and largest, specimen I have ever seen.
    Thanks for sharing. The garden looks fantastic.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks so much. Can you post the photo here in a comment? I might try to get a good photo of mine this evening and post in a comment to you. I just cut off a good-sized, dead branch from my A. shirasawanum, but the rest looks reasonably healthy. I'd love to end up with a specimen sized tree some day. It's near the house by a window for enjoyment from inside and out (if it gets large enough!).

      1. NCYarden 06/11/2015

        Ok here you go. Truly grand. Hope they post. Enjoy.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

          On my! That is unbelievable. I've never seen a photo of one so large. Weren't you just in Europe? Is that where this is? Thanks so much for sharing this. (And I'm glad to see some dead branches: maybe that is normal and not just me!). cheers.

          1. Sheila_Schultz 06/11/2015

            Hmmmm... I didn't get the photo?

          2. NCYarden 06/11/2015

            Maybe refresh your browser page?

          3. Sheila_Schultz 06/11/2015

            I checked a few moments later and there it was... thanks!

          4. NCYarden 06/11/2015

            Yes, this is at Tourin House in the Cappoquin areaoutside of Waterford in Ireland. I hope to send Michelle some photos soon from the trip. And I'm with you, I was so pleased (odd, I know?) to see the dead branches as well because I get similar result on my little one. There is hope.

          5. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

            I went back and looked at your spectacular garden photos on GPOD and I look forward to seeing more. I'd enjoy some more garden chat but don't use any social media. If you like, drop me a line at the email I set up for the GPOD container challenge Sheila and I posed: [email protected]

          6. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

            Here's a photo of my shirasawanum this AM. It looks maybe a little chlorotic to me, but it is healthier than it has been in a long time. cheers.

          7. NCYarden 06/12/2015

            Tim, in my opinion that's looking good . I'm a bit envious. You should be stoked. The form is quite nice. Fingers crossed it keeps growing, certainly at least a little more than its random twig die back.

          8. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

            Thanks David!

          9. beckysspring 06/12/2015

            Oh, she is lovely.

          10. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

            Thanks, Becky. She's in her second spot and surprisingly old. I've been trying to remember when I bought it: at least 10 years ago. A slow grower!

  12. Schatzi 06/11/2015

    It's always sad to lose a tree, but sometimes it is necessary. And you have certainly made the best of it! Your garden is gorgeous as usual. "Bandit" is a winner and I love that "troublesome" sedum! I love sedums - they are bullet-proof!

  13. Sheila_Schultz 06/11/2015

    Mornin' Tim... Every time I see a photo of your front slope I swoon. It is perfection in my eyes, and you are the King when it comes to texture and color echoes... every single plant adds something to your living tapestry. The red of the Japanese Maple next to the blue of the spruce, the small, frilly, red-purple leaves of the Heuchera's echoing the red of the Japanese Maple and contrasting beautifully with the large, blue-green leaves of the Hosta nigrescens... I could go on and on. Your designs always make me smile.

    PS... Sedum Angelina is a thug, but I couldn't live without her! Between her texture and color, she's a star ;)

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Aw, shucks, Sheila. I'm blushing. Tapestry is such a great word. I love areas of garden that are all the same height, interwoven like a living carpet. Of course, I can't stick to that..cram-and-jam-shoehorn gardener that I am! That maple has really came into it's own this year and the spruce is super happy, too.

    2. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Me and Sedum Angelina. We have a thing goin' on!

      1. Sheila_Schultz 06/11/2015

        You and me, too, Kid! I removed at least 50% of mine last fall since Angie was trying to cover every free inch of open and filled space in my gardens. I think she took that as a challenge with the 6 + weeks of rain we've had this spring! She's baaaaak!

  14. GrannyCC 06/11/2015

    Lovely Tim it is so hard when you have to adapt from shade to sun. However it sounds as if you have planted some alternatives to bring back more shade eventually. i love all the textures and colours you have used along with the boulders and smaller rocks. Good luck with the new adventure.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks, Catherine. So far, so good!

  15. Meelianthus 06/11/2015

    Well Tim, you rock! Literally, I love all of your rocks. My gardens are full of large rocks as I can never pass up an interesting rock, large or small. Your garden is exquisite and really needs a long, upclose look to enjoy all. Your neighbors are fortunate to have such a view. The hostas are magnificent and I know you must have had great fun rearranging your tapestry. Really beautiful.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

      Thanks, Linda. I can't get enough of rocks. Or plants. Or more rocks! The H nigrescens is one of my favorites. It just loves being in the damp clay at the bottom of the hill. I actually like it better when it just has a few crowns because you really see the vase-shape.

      1. Meelianthus 06/11/2015

        Also Tim, in your last photo, what is the leafy-looks-like fancy petals plant right behind the large rock mass (which is also most interesting) ?

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

          Right behind the rock, next to the Salvia, is Sanguinaria canadensis "Multiplex". One of my signature plants.... :)
          I bought the 500 lb stone at a local stone yard. Almost half of it is underground. I think it came from Arkansas or Missouri. As you can tell from the photos, its location is at the top of the hill. To get it placed, I had them deliver it to my back yard and I rolled it to the front yard by myself, injuring my arm and shoulder! I am an impatient fool, but I love that rock!

          1. Meelianthus 06/11/2015

            Well I sure hope your Herculean effort/injuries will maybe make you think twice next time and wait for help. Nah, gardeners don't wait - and that is how I have gotten all of my injuries! What fun is waiting??

          2. Meelianthus 06/11/2015

            Although I forgot to add - great rock story! and beautiful rock.

          3. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/11/2015

            Wait? What is this word "wait"? I don't understand.
            :)

          4. beckysspring 06/12/2015

            I have some Sanguinaria that came from one of the Rhododendron Society shows and sales we went to a couple of years ago... Love it!

          5. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

            It is a great plant, both in leaf and flower. Glad you found some. There are some pink flowering versions for sale here and there, but pricey. I'm hoping that someone comes up with a really, truly pink one for a reasonable price some day!

          6. beckysspring 06/12/2015

            Mine were a bargain.. $2.00 a pot I think. The society holds a show every year and the members bring pots of all kinds of things they grow in their yards to sell as a fundraiser. My favorite Japanese Maple came from there for $9.00! I love buying directly from the people that grow them. My husband goes for the rhodies. I am there for all the other things I can find.

    2. digginWA 06/11/2015

      Linda, I was going to say something similar. Tim's work is a real gift to the neighborhood.

  16. Clarkpark 06/11/2015

    Tim, beautiful hillside garden? I'm so glad you kept your stump instead of having it removed. Your huge 'Sagae'Hosta is on my Wish List. Thanks for letting me visit your garden today!?

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

      Thanks, Patty. Sagae is one of my favorites. At the suggestion of a friend, this spring I dug a clump and potted it as a summer house plant. I don't have a lot of shade anymore, but I would like to try Liberty, which is a wide-rimmed sport of Sagae.

  17. Cenepk10 06/12/2015

    Good Lord, Tim, that garden is magnificent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's the garden I see in my mind's eye... With cooperation from soil, pecan tree tassels, tent worms, drought, weather & all my other excuses. Right now- I've decided it's 1 part creativity & 4 parts SOIL ... Maybe it's the inverse in your case ... Thanks so much for sharing ! I so love seeing your gardens ' exploits through the seasons....So sorry & mourning the loss of the cherry tree ... ' bout to call the tree guys to rid me of pin oaks & pecans so my starved , over fed pitiful gardens will FINALLY have a chance to fulfill their destinies & get a glimpse of GPOD glory ! Sincerely, Cene.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

      Thanks so much. Make sure you take all sorts of photos to submit the story of your transformation! Every gardener faces some sort of challenge. Sounds like you're meeting yours head-on! Good luck and show the group what you're doing!

  18. GrannyMay 06/12/2015

    Hi Tim, I'm very late to comment on your gorgeous front garden, I had no opportunity to do so yesterday. No surprise that everything looks perfect and that you have coped with the loss of the cherry tree so well. Love your big rock! Had to laugh at your impatience in getting it into place - even when help is on its way, I have man-handled things on my own because I need to see the results immediately! Your comments on the sedum sexangulare have me worried, as I have planted several in various places and do not need any more garden thugs! I'm hoping that our climates and soil are sufficiently different that my sedums will behave with decorum.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

      Hi May! Thanks for your compliments. Glad you understand that some things just can't wait for help! It's far too exciting. I do have to admit that I like Sedum sexangulare, and despite its rampant nature, it's so small that it doesn't actually crowd things out. But it takes great and consistent effort for me to get rid of it where I don't want it. Keep an eye on it in case it decides to shun decorum for multiplication! Did I tell you that I tracked down and purchased Kalanchoe pumila, which you ID'd for me on one of your previous posts? I LOVE it and look forward to blossoms. Thanks for sharing your inspiring garden and containers!

      1. GrannyMay 06/12/2015

        I'm so glad you found Kalanchoe pumila and are happy with her. Mine did not survive winter indoors and I had forgotten to look for another this spring. Now added to my wish list is your lovely Epimedium 'Bandit'. I don't know why I was so long in discovering Epimediums, as they are perfect for my dry shady areas. I have now purchased many varieties and they are all thriving. A miracle!

        I went around checking on all the S. sexangulares that I had planted. They are far from causing their neighobours any grief yet, really they are just babies, some just purchased this spring, the others probably last year.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/12/2015

          I'm late to the Epimedium party as well, and they are such great plants. Besides Bandit, I have Domino, Sandy Claws, Kaguyahime, Black Sea and Purple Heart. All dynamite so far. Glad yours are thriving. Any favorites?

          1. GrannyMay 06/12/2015

            I'll have to look those up. I'm guilty of usually just buying what is available at the local nurseries, which carry mostly the sulphureum and rubrum. I did find and purchase what might be an unusual one named E. pubigerum 'Orange Queen' at a private plant sale. I won't know till next year whether I will like it or not. And one that I absolutely love, but have no name for (the closest photo on Google was E. franchetti). It has very long leaves on dark stems and pale yellow and white flowers dancing above like fragile butterflies. Here is the photo.

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/14/2015

            Oh, May! That is magical. Those dark stems are very cool. I see some very heavily serrated leaves toward the bottom and less sharply toothed leaves on the top. Same plant? Those jagged, jagged leaves are why I purchased Sandy Claws. Well that and the name and the new red leaves. cheers!

          3. GrannyMay 06/15/2015

            Hi Tim, I finally decided to ID this epimedium properly by first writing down all the characteristics that I could see and measure and then Googling all the reputable resources. I now think it is E. ilicifolium (Holly-leaf Fairy Wings), not E. franchetti. The leaves are a bit 'thorny', not a lot. And the stems do not look quite as dark as they did on that photo. Still love it and hope it thrives so I can share it with other enthusiasts,

          4. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/15/2015

            Thanks for sharing the ID, May. I'm going to add it to my "potentials" list for this autumn.

  19. hudit 06/14/2015

    Love your design and plantings! Do you have any photos of the front in the winter ?

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/15/2015

      Thank you! I don't think I have any winter photos of the front. I'm generally too cold in the winter to even pause and look at the yard! ?

  20. deepasadanandanleela 06/28/2015

    really beautiful ideas

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