A startling sight greeted me this morning when I looked out the back porch: a crew had arrived to take down one of the 2 big Siberian Elms in our neighbor’s backyard. The other tree was going to receive a hard pruning.

The ‘Honorine Jobert’ Japanese Anemone (Anemone x hybridus) is doing in the shady Back Garden. I’m a sucker for those gleaming ivory flowers with golden centers.

Many people think of Goldenrod as a plant that lives in sunny fields and flowers in wands or plumes at the top of tall stems. There are a number of Goldenrods that do not fit this description, however.

We seem to have begun the transition from summer to fall, which seems like a good time to take another look at the shady Back Garden.

Recently the staff at the Lurie Garden made some interesting changes to the Dark Plate, which is the partly shaded area east of the boardwalk. The Dark Plate tends to play second fiddle to the larger Light Plate that basks in full sun.

Do you remember Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)? It used to be my number one plant for filling containers all over the shady Back Garden, providing bountiful and vibrant color from May to September. Starting around 2011, though, the scourge of Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM), caused gardeners everywhere to turn their backs on the stricken plants.

Scenes from the Back Garden

For today’s post I’ve got just a few peeks from the shady Back Garden.

My So-Called Meadow

There is a part of the back garden where grass did not grow well, or at all. So I came up with the bright idea of turning it into what I called a “pocket meadow” consisting primarily of Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pennsylvanica). My thought was that it would look like this, but it hasn’t worked …

Yesterday we saw what the Front Garden had on offer at the beginning of July. Today we head to the shady back garden, under the dappled shade of Silver Maples and other mature trees.

A single Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) goes a long way. It’s a big plant – ours grows about 5 feet tall with a 4 foot spread. It’s a perennial but looks more like a small shrub. But if you have the space in a spot that’s moist and shady, this plant has a lot to offer. …