The deep greening of the woodland garden has begun. The light, ephemeral shades of spring have faded, and already summer's heavier presence hovers over the moss path and the planting beds. May is a month of transition. Trees provide a thick canopy, and the woodlands become a sheltering cave out of the white glare of the sun. Walk in, and you are lost in the verdancy.
So what can a gardener do with all that green?
I cheat. At least it feels like cheating, for little horticultural skill is needed on my part. In a few spots I plant impatiens, and, even easier, in other places I just plop a pot of shade-loving annuals down. Instantly a gratifying splash of color lights up the darkest corner. With some water and fertilizer, colorful flowers and foliage will add interest to the green woodlands all the way into fall.
Adding variegated foliage is another way to brighten the shadows. I don't think I have ever seen a variegated plant I did not love. I could easily be carried away to the point of gaudiness, but then, a touch of gaudiness is needed to make the world smile.
Fatsia Japonica is a recent addition to the woodlands. It is another green, but the huge leaves make a bold statement.
And finally, cooler tones, as seen in Deodar Cedar 'Feelin' Blue' and the mondo grass beneath it, prevent the greens from becoming oppressive:
Spring was very good this year. It started early, in January, and lasted through April, so I should not begrudge its ending. Soon cicadas will sing, and lightning bugs will flicker in the twilight. Sweat will run down the neck. Clothing will stick to the body. Hot and wild, the jungle will grow, and there is nothing quite like deep green in the summertime.