After my last post, Lois asked me about colorful options for a shady garden. I was just going to email her, but my email got so long I realized that I had a blog post, so there you go!
Shade is a big problem for a lot of people, but if you are creative, you can have a colorful garden.
Perennials are my thing, but impatiens really are the king of shade color. Other annual options are coleus and violas.
As far as perennials go, there's a lot to choose from. I think people get tired of hearing about hostas, but there are so many different varieties, leaf colors and variegation's, and flower types that they can be mixed well for a really stunning display. My favorite hosta is 'Guacamole', then I build around that with whatever catches my eye.
Astilbe has fern-like foliage and blooms that are feathery and come in a variety of colors. they range in size from teensy to quite large. Goatsbeard looks like astilbe (but I don't think it's in the same family), is really large and throws up large white flowers.
Hellebores are short plants, but they leaves and flowers come in a variety of shades.
Bleeding Heart, one of my favorite flowers, is a shade lover and, under the right conditions, can grow to be a huge, incredibly beautiful plant. The foliage dies back after flower, so it has to be positioned behind other flowers (ferns are good) that will fill it's gap when it's gone.
Foxgloves love the shade, eupatorium will give you fall color, and autumn fern has copper colored leaves that contrast nicely with the green leafed varieties.
There are plenty of options for your shade garden. With a little creativity and attention to flowering schedules, your shade garden should be gorgeous all summer long! Happy gardening!
Beauty in Everything