Saturday, April 24, 2010

Made in the Shade

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.


Daffodils and bluebells grow well in the shade for early spring color.

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.


Monarda has beautiful flowers and smells great but can be thready, so it needs to be planted within or behind the border.

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.


Phlox, shasta daisies, columbines, salvia, butterfly weed, day lilies, asters, echinacea, and scabiosa all grow well in partial shade.

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!


All photos found on Beauty in Everything


Linda said...

Thank you for that post, we have areas of shade in our garden that I am unsure of what to plant. I do love Hostas.

Relyn Lawson said...

Oh, you are good. I wish I loved gardening the way you obviously do. The results are always so satisfying and beautiful. I love flowers, but I don't love gardening.

Juliette Crane said...

wow, your blog is so beautiful. i just adore all of these flower photos. thank you for all of the wonderful information and inspiration! i can't wait to stop back again!

best wishes!

Magnolia Handspun said...

The floral images are just gorgeous! I want to hurry up and plant all my flowers now....this is so inspiring.
Have a great weekend...and thank you for the the encourgment with gardening.

Lupie said...

You inspire me to start gardening again.

stringsofpurls said...

Thanks for such a thorough answer to my question! I do use hostas and astilbe, but you've put a few new ideas under my cap. Have a wonderful Sunday!

E said...

I am so impressed with your knowledge! When I was a kid I used to read through the gardening catalogs and "pick out" what I wanted...bleeding hearts were always on the list :)

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