Shade gathers from year to year in the garden like the wrinkles on your face, growing more pronounced with time.
Small bushes develop into large shrubs, young patio trees shift from skinny to broad, newly planted trees rise to the rooftops and beyond. This is a direct consequence of our love of plants and is all good.
Or as horticulturist Jenny Rose Carey puts it: ‘‘I love planting little trees and watching them grow.’’ She has done this over the past 20 years in her 4½-acre garden in the Philadelphia suburb of Ambler. ‘‘As you mature as a gardener, your trees grow along with you, and that’s a nice thing.’’
So why are so many people down on shade?
First, because they can’t grow roses or zinnias in the gloom, and for many people a garden must have floral color to count. This is a limited view of the garden, where leaf forms, textures and plant architecture provide much more satisfaction, if only subconsciously. Another argument is that you can’t have a vegetable garden in the shade. This is true, and there is no way around that.
Shade gets the blame when the homeowner wakes up to the fact that the garden is overgrown and dank. This is a product, typically, of folks planting screening trees — especially evergreens — that were always destined to outgrow their allotted space.
But I’m with Carey in her belief that the…