Trish and Richard first visit the north garden. This is the garden visitors see first. It's special because of its canopy of Quirkus virginiana Live Oak. They
provide shade to all the shade plants in this garden. But, not only are the Live Oaks old but so too the Lagerstroemia Crepe Myrtle. Trish can't pinpoint their
exact age but they must be at least 75 years old. They too add shade to the area. Beneath them one finds Camellias which bloom in January and February, then
the Rhododendron and Azaleas that bloom a little later, in mid-March, followed by Hydrangeas which bloom in mid-May and of course a succession of smaller
plants, like the Mahonia Grape Holly. The Mahonia is a favorite of Richard's. The coarse texture and berries really set a shade garden apart. It is a visitor
favorite as well. The ground covers are also attractive. The Baptista Indigo blooms all summer and the Ardesia makes a berry but also blooms almost year round.
These are all great choices for a shade garden.
If you're thinking about creating a shade garden or a garden like this, blooms are always important but think about texture, think about form. The Crepe Myrtle
is a perfect example of this, a plant that stands out in a garden and makes a garden what it is.
It's Fall, which often means clean up time in our yards and gardens. And that can often increase our exposure to poison ivy and poison oak. How do we best identify these culprits? Here is an informative article about identifying and reducing the exposure and misery from poison ivy and poison oak.
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