|A Shade Lady|
Master Gardeners Denise Lucas and Nancy Miller - the Shade (not shady!) Ladies - welcomed sixteen visitors to their gardens.
With a "challenging shade area under some locust trees," Becky Schubert, Greencastle, said she came to get some ideas.
|The group gathers on Nancy's lawn|
|Denise and Nancy talk shade|
They started out defining the characteristics of the different "shades of shade" - light, medium (part sun), and full. And be aware that shade changes as the sun moves across the sky.
Connie Strunk, Chambersburg, was "impressed with her [Nancy Miller's] shade data collection" of where and when the sun fell in her yard. She is planning to do this in her yard.
|Textures are a basic shade element|
Shade gardening is an opportunity to explore and play with different shades of green (and don't forget the occasional pop of color), texture and plant forms. At the right, a clematis vine with a pop of purple, slender bulb leaves and a lacy Japanese maple in the background play against the stones and ceramic fountain.
Coming up with a plan was on Laura Wentling's mind as she toured the gardens. As Nancy Miller's daughter she was noting specific plants she liked. "Once I come up with a plan," Wentling said, "she [Nancy] will come over. I will probably get some free plants, too."
|A small "house" is a focal point in Nancy's plan|
|Side entry to Nancy's back garden area|
|Tucked among the coneflowers|
Overhead vines, arbors or pruned and shaped trees can provide "ceilings" but a peek of the sky as the sun moves is also interesting. Seating can be as formal as a table and chairs, a bench or even a tree stump.
|Nancy created a great spot to sit and visit|
|A bench provides a place to sit and enjoy nature|
The wide variety of shapes and colors of hostas was a highlight in both gardens with both Nancy and Denise challenged to remember names such as Hanky-Panky, Guacamole, Patriot and Mouse Ears.
|Many different varieties of hostas|
|The many varieties and colors of hydrangeas were also favorites|
|A container adds a pop of color in a medium shade area|
Around 11:30, after the garden tours, light refreshments were offered in the shade and everyone marveled at Nancy and Denise's beautiful gardens. Master Gardener Billy Morningstar said what was on many of our minds.
"I'm glad my shade area is small. I'm not as ambitious as these ladies."
More information about shade gardens and plants