There really is a magical time of day when the shade garden comes alive. In July, it’s from about 5:30-7:00 PM when the western sun is started to make its descent – the golden hour in my shade garden. Sun doesn’t set here in SW Ontario until about 8:30 at this time of day. But by then, most of the golden light is gone.
This lazy Saturday evening – one in a very long time – Alan and I were enjoying a cocktail on the deck at the foot of our yard. And suddenly the light changed into this glorious golden bath and the shade garden came alive. Stunning!!
After five years, the hydrangeas seem to be in their full glory. Laden with white blooms, these Annabelle hydrangeas have just started blooming. Maybe its the rain we’ve been getting most of June. Maybe its the added sunshine from where our neighbour cut down a tree to the west of this garden. Or maybe it’s just that they are finally matured and are happy in their home under the maples. Whatever it is, they are gorgeous this year.
Shade gardening can be a challenge, especially under an umbrella of mature trees. Lack of light and lack of water play havoc on even the most hardy plants. So it’s been hit and miss with choosing plants. I’ve tried to add colour with cimicifuiga and ligularia – something my friend RoseMary has great success with in her shade garden. But it’s too dry under the maples to sustain them – despite our built-in sprinkler system. Also a bust was a planting of anenomes – recommended by master garden Erin from The Impatient Gardener.
So I’ve stuck to what works best for this garden – hostas, ferns, some astilbe and bleeding hearts. I really don’t mind that it’s a bit boring. During the spring, it’s a glorious mix of tulips, hellebores, violets and alliums. So the calm of the green is a welcome sight during the hot days of July.
We are enjoying a cooler day today without high humidity – a gift from Mother Nature after a steamy week. And some quiet in our hectic schedules. I’ve been busy preparing for the opening of a new antiques booth where I’ll be selling Fusion Mineral Paint.
The garden at this time of day is a welcome retreat where we can sit and relax for a few minutes before dinner. It’s the golden hour in my shade garden and I love it. What is your favourite time to enjoy your garden?