For years now I have operated unknown, unseen, gardening in the shadows.
In the rain, yes.
In the late evening as light fades, the western sun long set behind the crest above my garden, clinging in the dimness at the edge a small cliff over a sodden valley.
And at night, with lights, to the perplexment of my neighbors as I grew my garden higher and denser to block them out.
My garden is hidden from view by my house above it. Shielded from wandering eyes. But the bees find it, and the insects and creatures and birds find it too.
Some mornings when the sun is shining from the East it clears my eastern neighbor’s looming roof and briefly bakes the stone patio, but then it is gone. In the winter it briefly lights us before it drags itself south behind the overbearing northern face of the invader. In the summer it lasts a little longer, struggling but rising above the massive wall of storm cloud grey.
Once, a low one storey blocked the southern view but never blocked the sun. Now, it only partially lights the garden at its apex in summer.
No matter though, it’s gone in the afternoon behind my own house and the shadows return. Only in later afternoon is there a stab through the houses that flashes sunlight into the darkest corner of the garden.
I laugh when I see the term full sunlight. Those plants, they are not for me, and they would weep as I planted them when I was younger and less wise. A sad struggle against an inevitable death that awaited them.
Now I am making myself known. This world needs gardens more than ever right now, and if your garden is shadowy like mine, it’s time you got to work. I’ll tell you, my sister is about to transform her garden, and it is shadowy in places, and should be more shadowed in others. I am shifting now into factory mode, building an ambitious propagation plan. Collecting the low and fast runners, the slow and glorious tree seedlings, bulbs from seeds – the long game.
Want to make your shadow garden fast? We’re on a two year plan with rockeries, paths, trees, tiers and even a raised bed zone for vegetables. This is my blog. I am the Shadow Gardener.