When visiting Jeff and Susie Cook, in Holland, Michigan, I am always impressed with their stunning Hydrangeas. The climate in Holland and where they live is exceptional for growing shade loving plants. Among the outstanding plantings are the Hydrangeas.
Susie is the architect of the gardens. She uses brightly colored Hostas, Japanese Maple Tree, Hakonechloa macra Aureola (Japanese Bent Grass), Day Lilies, Trumpet Lilies, Hybrid phlox, Astilbes, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’, Azaleas, and Magnolia Trees.
There is a lovely young pine tree that was planted as the center of the front walk garden. The Japanese Maple really stands out as one of the focal points of the garden. I think you will also agree that the Hydrangeas are intensely lush. Sue says she moved her ailing Illinois Hydrangeas from her home to her summer place and they are thriving.
As for the use of annuals, Sue uses bright fuchsia colored impatiens to brighten up her shade.
A fine piece of garden art appears in her front garden area. You’ll notice the stately bronze bird bath standing close to the bird feeder. This piece of art enhances the serenity that Sue and Jeff have tried to create for their many visitors.
On their back deck they added two huge pots this year using a Lowes Watering System for Pots. The pots are watered for ten minutes a day. The plantings are gorgeous as you can tell.
The Cooks offer the “shady” gardener plenty of inspiration to create a peaceful garden. Google shady garden plants and you’ll find LOTS of plantings that will fit your needs.