The shade garden was established in 1982 as a collection that focused on informality and a sense of tranquility and was the original site for the Iowa Arboretum’s hosta collection. A gradually sloped, wooden walkway provides visitors with a snapshot of Iowan woodland beauty. Here, large native trees provide an overhead canopy under which smaller woody species flourish. Hardy flowering shrubs and small trees such as the pagoda dogwood have been planted to provide late spring bloom. As spring emerges, woodland wildflowers such as jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), and columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) populate the forest floor. The garden was enhanced by the introduction of various shade tolerant herbaceous perennials, including hosta, lenten rose (Helleborus sp.), and false goat’s beard (Astilbe sp.).
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