Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Terrace pots for the shade...

With Spring shuffling it's feet, and the weather still far from Spring like, I have been giving quite a bit of thought to the garden...right now, it looks pretty desolate, brown and dingy and still covered in winter debris...

This is a corner of our front porch several years ago, prior to the renovation...you can see the ivy growing up the grey pillar...and a wisp of wisteria vine hanging in the forefront of the photo, from the other pillar...

Those pillars were replaced with white, square ones, and of course, the vines were ripped down as well...I was not happy!

My Mom always said.." In order to gain something, something must be forfeited! ". So the beauty of a new front porch necessitated the loss of the vines...

The ivy growing up the brick wall in the background, took years to establish..it too met it's demise, when new, larger windows were added to the front bedrooms...

The front of the house, faces north, and receives very little, if no sun, so my plant options here for pots and urns is very limited....ferns, mosses, ivy...the limitations of gardening in the shade. But it has it's rewards...beautiful texture and depth can be achieved with the same results as sun loving plants...so, on this rainy, cool Spring day, I thought I would share some of my terrace pots...grown in the shade..

Maidenhair ferns with white morning glory vine on a crown trellis...

Maidenhair ferns, caladiums and white baucopa, a flowering filler which tolerates the shade well...

A grouping of shade loving companion planters...


Reindeer moss, one of my favourites...with moss growing on the planter..

Early Spring last year...


I prefer cast concrete or cast iron urns in my garden, the texture works well for the rustic woodland setting..this front door pedestal urn was planted with green calla lily, maidenhair ferns, moss and ivy.

Early Spring, last year..the pot in the foreground was originally terracotta, but I added a grey paint and wash to it....



The only southern exposure in the garden...filtered sun and dappled shade...taken in early afternoon..

A planter potted with jasmine topiary and variegated ivy, rounding a corner by the garage...

Ferns are a mainstay in the shade garden, and in this photo, late afternoon sun on the upper terrace, gives new dimension to the garden...

If you have shade to garden with, the possibilities for combining interesting elements in pots and beds is really not as limiting as you might think...

A great reference book for gardening in the shade, which has been a wonderful source of inspiration and information for me is..The Natural Shade Garden by Ken Druse...still available on Amazon...




  1. The way you plant your pots is really lovely Nella! Seeing these photos of your beautiful terrace is so inspiring! You really have such amazing style my friend.
    sending hugs...

  2. Good morning Nella! It is like spring time just to see you post! We too have had to wait so long just to get enough sun to melt the mounds of snow away. It's supposed to be up to 70 today!

    Your yard is lush and ready for you to do what you need to get it just right. I love your white garden furniture and pots....it is prime for some fun decorating!

    My boxwoods are finally exposed after having been buried with so much snow. A lot of work is ahead of us to clean the debris and let new growth come in, then prune. The weight of the snow cracked some branches on the boxwood, but pruning will take care of that.

    Good to see you! Anita

  3. Your gardens are gorgeous...I am so loving the moss covered planters...I cannot imagine how wonderful it is to spend time in the garden at that beautiful table enjoying the magnificent views...your gardens are just enchanting!!!

  4. I always relish images of your beautiful gardens Nella! Moist shade loving plantss do not grow in my dry shade so I will have to enjoy yours!

  5. Summers are dry and sunny here... so it's an absolute delight to see your shade gardens, Nella.
    Have a lovely one,

  6. Hi Nella,
    Everything is so green in your photos! When its brown & dismal like now, I forget how wonderful it al looks again in just a few more short months. Shade-loving plants are some of my favorite-- caladiums, ferns & impatiens. When I was first married (I was about 22 at the time), I decided I would plant 2 of my favorite annuals-- caladiums & impatiens-- along the front of our full WEST facing house! You can just imagine the disaster that was. I get such a laugh out of it now. The sun burned holes straight through the caladium leaves.

    Your pots really do look beautiful, & all that shade must be welcome in the middle of summer. I'd love to live surrounded by beautiful trees.

    I'm curious about one thing-- your roses. Do you grow them in your south garden, & do they receive sun all day, or just part day? Every time I see your rose photos, they look so beautiful & healthy, & I've wondered how you manage them with the surrounding woods. I've been reading about a few varieties of roses that grow well in partial shade. The list is short, but very interesting.

    Take care!

  7. Nella, Your garden is stunning and love your photography. Moss and ferns are everywhere in WA state. With all the grey days.. I focus on shade-loving plants for a large part of the yard. I'm looking forward to having some warmer temps so I can get out and do some gardening. With our house reconstruction we will be starting a landscape project. The current state of the property is VERY over grown. I will enjoy having a few pots of flowers around to keep my sanity amidst the craziness that's ahead. Hope you are enjoying your week! xxleslie

  8. Every time it takes my breath away..You have such a gift and have been blessed with such a gift- to live there with such natural beauty lovingly tended by you. <3

  9. You could put some hostas in those shade loving pots. Go see the Hosta Man (that's what we call him) on Lakeshore Road heading towards Niagara on the Lake around the bend just past East and West Line. He has thousands of them... I kid you not. Some of the tiniest ones you could imagine.
    Hope you're feeling better Hun and enjoying the sunshine!
    Susan x

  10. Nella, Your garden is absolutely GORGEOUS! I love all the ferns and the backdrop of trees is beautiful! I just found your blog and I am now following.

  11. Nella, This is not a garden - it is heaven. Your property, with the surrounding tree's and sun peeking through is gorgeous.
    I think we are all itchy right now to get going in the garden and this play time with the plantings is well deserved after such a cold winter.
    Have fun watching the first little sprouts appear.


  12. C'est magnifique, j'aime beaucoup !
    Your garden is magnificent, I love ...


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