THE PLANT CATALOGS look delicious, but what plans have you made for where those wishlist items might go, and how many of each do you need to make them really say something in the garden? I love creating mixed plantings of shade treasures–bulbs and perennials, and especially extra-early bloomers–under deciduous trees and shrubs. I call the process “Making Mosaics,” and it’s one of the how-to sidebars in my 2013 book, “The Backyard Parables.” It’s also a video, with photos I’ve taken here at my place.
more shade-garden ideas
- I first wrote about the “mosaic” strategy of shade-garden design in 2008 on this website, in a still-popular story called “10 Thoughts on Successful Underplanting” that you may want to read, and then in this followup.
- Still hunger for more plants after watching the video? Here’s my slideshow of 51 top shade plants, with links to their full profiles and more design ideas.
- All my shade-garden stories are archived here. Remember that when making mosaics, you need more than onesies of each plant. Start dividing those clumps of good candidates you have to create some drifts, or make sure the plant orders you place are for serious multiples!
more about ‘the backyard parables’
MY BOOK ‘THE BACKYARD PARABLES: Lessons on Gardening, and Life” is part memoir and part handbook. I wanted to bring some of the book’s most luscious how-to bits to life in videos such as “Seed-Shopping Rules,” and now my approach to successful underplanting, “Making Mosaics.”