Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I have a bed that is getting absolutely no attention from me this year.  This bed has slowly gone from full sun to shade as the trees that were planted there several years ago have grown and filled out.  Thus, I have been slowly replacing the plants that were originally planted there.

Gardenias and hydrangeas have replaced the roses.  Daylilies will soon be removed.  A few other shade loving plants will need to be selected.

On a whim, I decided to line one of the boxwood boxes in this bed with caladiums.  I didn't expect much, as caladiums have never done well for me.  I've always admired them in other people's gardens.  I love them, no matter what color or variety they are.  I think they are beautiful, refreshing, tropical, exotic, and a bit traditional, all rolled into one.

So, imagine my surprise when I walked past this bed the other day and the caladiums were big, fat, and gorgeous!  I am thrilled!

Is it the extra water they're getting?  Is it the compost I put in this bed?  What is the secret?  I don't know.  But I am thrilled, and now have a reason to walk past that bed with excitement and anticipation every morning!


  1. They are beautiful and I love them. I just don't have shaded areas in my yard to have any.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. They are beautiful and exotic! I grow some every year as part of a mix in my containers and they always add a touch of brightness. It's nice to have happy surprises in the garden!

  3. Wow, Holley, these caladiums look amazing. It is always nice, when the garden surprises us with something, isn't it?

  4. Caladiums are so great! They are workhorses in shade garden...provided they get enough water. I always use them in containers and get great results from April till October. Just wish they were perennial for us. Oh, well, can't have everything, can we?

  5. Very pretty caladiums! I agree, I think they're beautiful and tropical-looking too.

  6. Love your caladiums!I know you are really enjoying them.

  7. Cher - I'm thrilled they are happy (so far) in this shady area of my garden. It's been challenging to change from a sun garden to a shade garden, but little surprise like this are so much fun!

    Cat - I'm not much of a container girl, but I can see where they would add a lot to a container of any planting.

    Christina - Never having had any luck with caladiums, I am so impressed with their size! Yes, I love surprises in the garden - well, good ones anyway!

    Toni - It is frustrating a bit to love something when it's not a perennial. I think that's why I don't do a lot of containers, although I'm more and more wanting to do more containers as they add so much.

    Bumble Lush - I love those big leaves. I bet they would look fabulous in a container or bed with other large leafed plantings.

    Egretta - Perhaps because they grow in the shade, caladiums always look refreshing and cool to me. Something that's very welcome in this heat!

  8. I didn't plant any this year, but I have in the past and they are knockouts! I love the variegated foliage. It's so nifty that you didn't expect them to do particularly well but the thrived. Must be the perfect spot for them. Cheers!

  9. PlantPostings - Yes, they must like that spot. Isn't it funny how some plants can be picky? At least for some gardeners!

  10. Your caladiums look so cool in the heat. They really are wonderful plants, requiring no care. Maybe you didn't know, but there are quite a few varieties that thrive in the sun.

  11. Greggo - Do you like caladiums?

    Sherry - No, I didn't know that. I really don't know much about caladiums - maybe that's why they've never done well for me before! Sun loving caladiums would be so pretty grown with canna. I may have to try and find some of them.

  12. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    I have a similar situation with the Circle Garden at the back of our property. When we moved in it was a herb garden, but as the trees surrounding it matured it became harder and harder to grow both herbs and flowers. Now I consider it a shade garden. I am not at all familiar with caladiums. Yours is very pretty and must light up the shade.

  13. Hi Holley, your Caladiums are gorgeous! this is one plant I grow easily - they like the shade and composting / mulching seems to make they grow like crazy. I love the co ours of yours. Xx

  14. Jennifer - I'm having a hard time with my shade garden. Sun I'm used to and know what will work. Shade is a different story. This bed is going to be a big experiment!

    GardeningBlog - I think the composting really did help them along! I didn't know if it was my imagination or not how much that helped. Did you notice the little flower thing that is coming up? Never having grown caladiums successfully before, that is so intriguing to me!


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