The requirements were rather daunting - the plant had to be skinny enough to fit behind the bench, and it had to tolerate a fair amount of shade and some not-so great-draining clay soil. Oh, and something with flowers would be preferred..
I spent awhile trying to find a plant that would work. After blogging about this difficult corner some gardeners gave me some great suggestions to think about; however, soon afterwards we unexpectedly happened upon a plant that amazingly fit all the requirements for the site.
Meet our new variegated weeping Redbud tree - Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’:
|Cercis canadensis 'Whitewater' behind garden bench|
|variegated leaves of the 'Whitewater' Redbud tree|
Redbuds are known to tolerate clay soils quite well, though not necessarily heavy waterlogged ones. The amount of compost I've incorporated into my shade bed should hopefully be sufficient - thankfully this site doesn't get truly sodden like some other parts of the garden!
I was pleasantly surprised to find out this this cultivar was locally developed right here at North Carolina State University by Dr. Dennis Werner. I'm hoping that means that it will do exceptionally well in this area!
Of course now I need some medium height plants to bridge the height gap between the tree and the rest of the garden...and I'm going to have to move those hostas that don't really match well...
Is there any such thing as a completed garden?