I have a perennial bed that has me completely flummoxed. This scraggly mess is located in prime real estate - right next to the deck and the screened porch. But yet, it looks so bad I've only included it in one picture of the lower garden over the past two years.
This was the first flower bed I planted when the garden was new, and I had such high hopes. The bed faces directly west, but because of the overhanging arborvitae, the front of the bed doesn't get sun until about 2:00 or 3:00 pm, and then the surrounding trees provide dappled shade in the mid-evening (as seen above). The very back of the bed doesn't get any direct sun, although it is very close, so it's bright.
Given this information, I decided to plant partial shade plants in the front, and shade plants in the back. The first summer it looked great. However, the second summer about half the plants didn't come back. Last year there were even fewer. This year all that grows here are some flowerless Siberian irises, a few daylilies, three stunted veronicas (speedwell - I don't remember the exact name), one very unhappy Ligularia "The Rocket," a few wandering Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea' (golden creeping Jenny), and one inexplicably happy peony that was there when we moved into the house (not seen in the photo, but on the far right).
At this point, I am completely ignoring this bed, as I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Since even daylillies - daylillies! - aren't thriving here, what will? I've added compost over the years, and there are worms, so the soil would seem to be okay. The front part of the bed is in shade until 2:30, direct sun from about 2:30 pm until 6:30 pm, then dappled shade thereafter. The very back of the bed gets no sun, but it's very bright.
So, does anyone have any wonderful ideas for how to make my problem child shine?