Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shade is also a place


The seldom-seen shady corner...

The New Dawn's large pot, with hollow walls and a reservoir in the bottom, is at last hidden. Resting on top of it, and right in the corner, is a 14" terra cotta pot filled with the tiaralla whose leaves you can barely see, a clematis (now in bloom way up above) and a gloriosa lily. It is a happy pot. It was a new addition this year, a wonderful dead space to use, nothing else going on, and nothing else could be squeezed in with the leggy New Dawn, which already shares accommodations with an autumn clematis and two statuesque lilies. The impatiens in the front are volunteers that came up in the gravel earlier in the year, now potted up in 6" terra cotta.

Next door are the premature fall anemones, old lilies, and the hosta. At floor level this corner gets the least sun on the terrace, as it nudges up against the south wall of the small space. At the 5' elevation, all that changes. Tall plants that like sun are fine: to wit, the lilies, the rose and clematis. Lower plants must like bright shade.

When I was designing gardens full time I used to spend a lot of time explaining shade.

There is my favorite charcoal, Royal Oak, lurking under braai. I love it. It catches fast, just with balls of paper underneath, and it burns long, and hot. It is impregnated with nothing horrible, and is made of hardwoods, I think in Missouri. It comes in nice shardlike shapes and sizes. No great big logs, little dust. 

On top of the braai are the orphans, currently a Mexican hyssop with no place to go (especially not Arizona), and a new Nepeta (subsessilis), which needs potting up. Does anyone know it and grow it? It is Japanese and likes some shade, I hear.  

The beaded cow is from Cape Town. It is an Nguni cow. I saw a real one in the Drakensberg just before we got caught in that scary mountain pass thunderstorm and flood a couple of years ago. Oh! And matches. A gift from Rockport. That might sound funny, but I have a thing about matches. Not as bad as my dad's thing about matches, but it's still a thing. 

There you have it. No more secrets. 

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