Moving logically through the gardens, after you leave the Japanese Garden you will be in front of the house. It was built in the 1860s and is pretty much in its original condition. This was taken about 10 years ago and the trees are all much taller now, so much that you wouldn't be able to wee that window next to the chimney. It used to be quite sunny there, but now when I sit in my office I look out on shady and green. This front is primarily hostas with a few ferns and other shade plants. The primary shade is from 2 huge sugar maples which are about as old as the house. The only difficulty with them, other than the occasional branch which lands in the yard now that they are getting older, is the amount of water they use. In a dry year the hostas really suffer unless we can water them well. This year the hostas are looking quite good and if this rainy season keeps up we should have a good gardening year for a change. Maples aren't the worst for sucking water up, though. The hemlocks (tsuga) are much worse. We didn't realize it in the beginning and tried planting a shade garden under a lovely hemlock. Everything died and now except for the 'Geezer Garden' (the one next to the side door where Hank says we can wheel him out when he gets to be a Geezer and he can still enjoy at least one garden) where we have a permanent resident sprinkler, hemlocks mostly just have forest floor or some ivy underneath. I guess you get used to the fact that gardens come in all sorts, and some trees just want to be by themselves.