Shade gardening in Toronto
There are days when I question why I gave up cubicle life in exchange for the joys of self-employment (wild income fluctuations, bugs, humidity, client "relations", etc.) But imagine enjoying your lunch surrounded by a setting like this on a bi-weekly basis. Such doubts rarely enter my mind here.
The clients' backyard is embraced by 100 feet plus high red oaks so the shade is never deep and oppressive as it is under, say, a Norway maple. Gardening and entertaining activities are very enjoyable due to this type of dappled shade. Certainly made my ham sandwich more delicious today.
|Under dappled shade, enjoying my lunch|
The particular part of the garden in the picture consists of a waterfall feature surrounded by classic shade tolerant perennials and shrubs. We have two types of Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra "Albostriata" and "Aureola", left and right respectively), Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum), "Halcyon" hosta, Rodgersia aesculifolia, and "Arnold Promise" witchhazel (Hamamelis x intermedia "Arnold Promise") in the back.
I think we have a beautiful composition with contrasting foliage (linear vs. broad vs. palmate) and a soothing green palette that's easy on the eyes. With the trickling of the fountain on this warm late June day, it was hard to leave, albeit only temporarily.
By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"