Kick back in the Rural Money Homestead Garden made in the shade, where vivid fuchsia passion flowers scale a trellis, and Japanese autumn ferns stand tall.
You’d never suspect that the former public affairs specialist doesn’t spend much time creating and maintaining her shady oasis.
Moving from the mild winters of Georgia’s Chattahoochee Valley almost 40 years ago re-sparked a passion for digging in the dirt.
However, I didn’t want my garden to take over my life, which is why the front yard remained almost barren for ten years.
By choosing my cultivars wisely in 2019, I have streamlined my plant-tending routine to just three to four hours a week.
And I filled the garden with shade-friendly plants such as hostas, 4 o-clocks or “slut flowers” named and gifted to me by Anita Sands Hernandez, caladiums, red autumn and orange daylilies.
I don’t want to spend all of my time maintaining instead of enjoying my garden.
Moreover, I have to publish daily posts for my Rural Money niche content blog.
Rather than labor-intensive vegetables or annuals, I grow undemanding perennials, flowering shrubs with long bloom cycles that provide splashes of colors and fruit such as, nectarines, apples, wild blackberries, pawpaws, and herbs.
I do, however, maintain a kitchen garden and more fruit in my permaculture garden but, that’s for another post.
One of my favorite tree shrubs is Japanese hydrangea, which sprouts leafy green foliage in the spring, followed by purple/violet flowers that I cut for arrangements and dry for the fall.
The passion flower cutting that I rescued from a neighbor, is proving to be unmanageable as it is vibrant.
Its small deep pink flowers bloom all summer, but the plant spreads, rather than the white jasmine (native to China) that doesn’t.
I hope the unruly passion flower vine bears fruit one day.
The white jasmine produces an abundance of white and yellow flower buds in late spring, followed by fragrant five-petaled star-like white and yellow flowers, which are about two centimetres in diameter.
My lawn, half Zoysia and weeds, balance all of the layers of foliage, flowers, herbs and fruit that surround it.
My front yard garden beds are purposefully low-maintenance.
But to be honest, it takes me about two hours to mow the lawn with a Troy-Bilt self-propelled mower with bag.
I enjoy mowing the front lawn; and aside from getting some much needed exercise, the grass clippings are beneficial for compost.
None of my gardens are not nearly complete, and may never be.
In fact, they have only begun on my journey of buying, planting, eating fruits, vegetables and herbs, and enjoying flowers of my labor of love.
Follow these tips for a shady, low-stress garden that will impress.
Window Shop: The simplest way to pinpoint pretty, easy-care plants is to visit local professional nurseries with nice landscaping models. Shout out to Lott’s Nursery in Newnan, Georgia.
Snap photos of the species you like.
Take into account how much sunlight your greenery will receive because you don’t want to plant hostas, which need less light, next to verbena, which craves more.
Dig This: Prep the soil before planting, and your flowers will flourish.
Remove any unhealthy plants and weeds from flower beds, then put down a layer of organic compost to nourish future buds.
Start Small: It’s better to add plants later than pack them in initially because crowding can cut the light and fresh air they will receive and make them disease-prone.
Research how large each will be when fully grown.
Choose un-fussy perennials and shrubs that provide four seasons of interest.
Cover Up: Add a layer of organic mulch on top of the soil after planting and replenish annually. I save money by using pine cone chips that squirrels discard and rescued pine straw and needles from neighbors, who don’t mind the free cleanup.
Garden Variety: Add lanterns, bee catchers, urns, and chairs painted to match your flowers that offer striking views of your garden.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com bringing you the best of my knowledge, skills, abilities, tips and resources. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas. Thank you for your support.
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