My Perennial Shade Garden – So Many Shades of Green

My Shade Garden and Elephant Ears

The elephant ears are coming up well in my perennial shade garden. I have posted a few photos over on Facebook but they are really coming in thickly. I probably should have planted those three bulbs a little farther apart, but I am sure they are going to do well.

Let’s just hope the Japanese Beetles don’t eat them all back to the ground.

Shade Gardens from The Hypertufa Gardener

I have written about my Elephant Ears here. That was planting them. Now they are growing well and I thought an update was in order, along with how well everything else is doing in the perennial shade garden.

Elephant Ear location - the hypertufa

At this point, the Elephant Ears are only about 24 inches high ( at least the tallest ones) but I expect them to get a lot larger. I am hoping to have a huge specimen against this white fence at the end of the shade garden. All of these plants here in the shade come back every year with no effort, except for a little weeding. ( Elephant Ears would need to be dug up here in zone 6 Ohio, but in your zone, they may stay in the ground all year.)

We had a period of rain and I think that is what helped the Elephant Ears to finally break ground and get going.

sprouting elephant ears - the hypertufa gardener
A week ago
Growing Quickly - The Hypertufa Gardener

I am so anxious to see the Elephant Ear (Colocasia) as it gets larger and larger. I have grown these before and had really large plants with leaves that were truly as large as an elephant’s.  I have placed these near a white fence which I thought would be a nice backdrop for the green plant, but also protect them from high winds which could damage them.

At the opposite end of this bed, I have the hostas which are beginning to bloom. They are really looking wonderful this year. I don’t know hostas by name so I have no idea of these varieties, but they are really nice. I hope the slugs and Japanese beetles hold off a little while longer so that I can enjoy them.

Hosta Blossom June -

Here is a close up of the bud on this hosta. It is a really deep purple and I am anxious to see it open.

Full Shade Bed - The Hypertufa Gardener

I had an earlier post about the sweet woodruff.  It is growing and spreading well and is helping to smother weeds   ( which are mostly sprouting maple seeds) . In this bed, I have anemone and brunnera,  astilbe and some heuchera. And I have a lot of Japanese painted fern and Ostrich fern too.  Those plants just multiply like crazy. I see many more to dig up for next spring’s plant sales.

Opposite end of the shade garden -The Hypertufa Gardener

I have the fall-blooming gentian in this round planter here, but it is not sunny enough here and needs to be moved…one of these days when I am not so busy.  This end of the shade garden is the sunnier end, but it is not sunny enough for the gentian. I think it is because the maple tree here at the far end of the garden is getting larger and larger and spreading branches so far, the sun just is not reaching my gentian. Note to self: get it moved soon.

So that is my update on my shade garden with its elephant ears. I am hoping to update again in about a month showing a huge plant.

Wish me luck!


  1. Tamara S Miles says:

    Beautiful! My own adult elephant ears are extravagant — so tall and lovely I can’t believe it. There are five. I decided to try sprouting the seeds, and was so pleased when they started sprouting. They are still tiny, but I’m watching them closely…

    1. Wow, that is so nice. Great job sprouting the seeds.

  2. Vickie Browning says:

    I love the moss growing on your retaining wall. Your garden is lovely.

    1. Thanks, I love the look of it. I just don’t let it grow over walking areas. Too much danger of slipping and falling.

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