Neglected blog, neglected sideyard

zigzag goldenrod
Zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis) in the deep shade of the sideyard.

I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit due to work travel, out-of-town visitors, and general late summer ennui. I’ve been neglecting to say much about the sideyard since it is small, in deep shade (south of our house, north of our neighbor’s house, and under a magnolia tree), and often trampled by the neighbor’s contractors. I’m going to take a small step towards ending that neglect.

I have had a little success planting native plants on the eastern edge of the sideyard. It gets a couple of hours of filtered sunlight, and there’s some nice woodland duff built up from the magnolia leaves. One thing that I’ve grown there for a couple of years is the zigzag goldenrod seen above. It’s usually not prostrate like this – I’m guessing that either our heavy rains of the past couple of weeks did this, or else it was due to some contractor/neighbor trampling in the springtime. (This is why I put up a twig fence by this area in the spring, but neighbor removed it without telling me. I think this was some unspoken commentary on my lack of fence-making artistry.) It seems just as happy prostrate as it was vertical in previous years.

Giant spider web on magnolia

I’ve had less luck on the west end of the sideyard. There’s some sedum there, and some sort of sicky varigated dogwood, but very few of my plantings have survived. I’m guessing that the afternoon sun doesn’t reach this area effectively due to the crabapple tree in front of the house and the giant linden in the parkway. But sometimes nature provides ornaments that a gardener cannot: check out this huge spider web that was built between the magnolia and that sad dogwood.

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