I have taught myself to garden, becoming a plantsman, on the same shaded hillside in Southern Indiana. I began 30 plus years ago using trowel and error, killing plants, and gaining experience. I like to tell the story of how my garden was originally flat land, but I have killed so many plants over the years I now walk up a hillside of composted deceased perennials. The soil is mostly clay over limestone with pockets of decent dirt. Through the years I have overcome the clay soil by constructing raised beds.
Design is mostly follow-my-bellybutton with containers in my hands to create a casual, but controlled, wild woodland garden. Plants are a combination of native and non-native shade perennials with emphasis on the rare and unusual, the out-of-the-ordinary.
My garden is the fountain from which speaking, writing and photography flow.
For some years now I have been posting to Pinterest. At this time there are 23 boards with my numerous pins on each. Boards with labels such as “Tips for Shade Gardeners,” “Spring Blooms in My Shade Gardens,” “Winter Color in My Shade Garden,” etc. and “My Water Feature.”
Rather than duplicate the photos here, I suggest you make a trip to Pinterest to see plants from my garden.
Gardeners are Talking
“Munchkin Gardens is a two acre shade garden with meandering paths on a hillside in Southeast Indiana. Gene uses his garden to educate about shade plants and their particular growing conditions, but he really inspires those who visit to realize and visualize the possibilities they may possess back in their own garden. As one wanders through, around and about this wonderland in the shade, the drifts of various cultivars are blended with exquisite detail to show off not only the blends of color but also the unique textures in the plants. It is an incredible artists palate! The beauty is overwhelming and creates a chain reaction mentally where hope conquers the risk, fear, and danger of trying something new. Gene uses Munchkin Gardens as his classroom where he teaches and shares his shade garden expertise. Munchkin Gardens makes one understand the joy, peace, and tranquility only found in the shade.”
-Dr. F.E. Vincennes, IN