Mr. Bee calls this corner of our back yard the grotto, and with good reason. It’s a dark, gloomy and damp place.
When we moved in, the pavers and existing shrubbery were completely covered in English ivy. At first it seemed like a good thing to uncover a hidden patio. This little nook was way down on the priority list sure. But, a few plants and some yard sale furniture could make it a charming, pleasant alcove. It wouldn’t take much to make it a nice little outdoor retreat.
This picture was taken on a good day before we replaced the fence. I’d cleaned off the glass tabletop (a chore!) and the chairs, that were indeed all from a yard sale. As you can see there isn’t much growing here beside the one straggly shrub in the corner.
I had tried to plant a few shrubs but every attempt to get something growing in the ground ended in failure. This Carolina jasmine gave me some hope before it, too, succumbed. Tired of throwing money away, I resigned myself to planting liriope which at least covered the moist clay soil with something green.
I did try to disguise the shadowy corners with bright pillows and table styling. This photo is clearly for the blog.
That was the accommodation until late last year when the table base deteriorated to the point of collapse . The rattan base was on its last legs so we took the glass off to avoid a potential mess of broken glass. There was no motivation to buy a new table since we so rarely used the old one. The table was removed just as winter set in and the retreat sat empty.
Having more time on my hands lately I was going through some old garden books. I happened to read an article that explained the difference between partial shade and full shade. It was one of those aha! moments.
I have full shade and was buying plants that could only take partial shade. The garden books were helpful in pointing out shrubs and other plants that favor full shade. With my new knowledge I called the garden center.
Hope springs eternal.
Meanwhile I had an empty grotto. This glider, was moved into the space temporarily while I wait for my plants to arrive.
I will be back later in the week with some big changes in the grotto.