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Basic Garden Planting

It’s late July in Minnesota. I haven’t had much time to plant a garden as most of the time I’m working indoors painting, hanging pictures and other miscellaneous work.

Today though was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect and I was determined to work on two strips of dirt in front of our house. I had already prepped the area and planted a couple of bleeding hearts.

Bleeding Heart

But the past week, it rained. And rained. And rained. The ground is saturated with water and the dirt was compact again. I took out my hoe and started digging. I like my gardens to look sculpted instead of wild so I place things carefully in “order.”

Adding new dirt, I mixed it with the old dirt. It was a little hard to make holes for the plants as I kept running into small-to-medium sized rocks. At first I thought that there may be plastic underneath as some gardeners put plastic, then rock, then dirt in order to reduce the number of weeds they get. But, I never ran into the plastic so I don’t know why I keep running into rocks.

This part of our property is very shady so we are limited in what we can plant. Although, I did notice later in the afternoon that we get filtered sun — very little filtered sun but it’s better than nothing.

We went to a nursery called Bachman’s in Maplewood, MN. There was not much selection there for a shady garden. But, we did come away with a few plants. The ones we bought were:

  • Coleus – this plant has both shady and sun varieties
  • Caladium – can be used indoor or outdoor. If outdoor, it likes part sun to shade
  • Maracas – another indoor or outdoor plant. If used outdoor, it likes shade
  • Coral Bells – this is a perennial (meaning that it comes back every year) and is hardy to -40 degrees. This plant can attract hummingbirds. It may not like the location though because it likes sun to part-sun. I’m not sure if the filtered sun will be good enough. We’ll see.
  • Lilium Hybrid (Asiatic Lily) – sun to part-shade. Again, a “we’ll see” plant.
We decided to put dark bark mulch over the dirt instead of the red bark mulch so that it could blend with the environment.

Shady Garden

Now it’s a “wait and see” game. First to see if they do well in the next few weeks and then to see if the perennials come back next year.
Taylor's 50 Best Perennials for Shade: Easy Plants for More Beautiful Gardens
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