Let There Be Shade-And The Plants To Brighten It Up

Designing a shade garden can be an easy and creative endeavor. There are so many plants that will thrive in the shade–probably a lot more than you think– from perennials to annuals. Gardeners can choose ferns, woodland flowers and luxurious ground covers. Whether your shade garden will be an accent or a focal point, here are some plants that should fit right in.

Dicentra
The common name for this very pretty perennial is bleeding heart, and it blooms with pink, heart-shaped flowers in May. Some varieties will bloom all summer, which makes it a nice addition to an area filled with foliage plants. Dicentra likes a rich, fluffy soil that drains well and can be planted in the sun but prefers a shady spot. Most varieties of bleeding heart are hardy to USDA zones 3 to 8.

Epimedium
Epimedium is a good choice if you are looking for a ground cover for the shade garden. Growing to a height of 12 to 18 inches, it blooms in the spring with small red or yellow flowers. Epimedium does best in consistently moist soil, but it will tolerate periods of drought. It is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 8.

Lady’s Mantle
This member of the rose family is another ground cover for a shady garden. Lady’s mantle will grow to a height of 10 to 12 inches tall and bloom in the summer with small, yellow flowers. Provide fertile, moist soil and this plant will thrive. Lady’s mantle is hardy to  USDA zones 4 to 7.

Hosta
No self-respecting shade garden would dare call itself complete without a few hostas sprinkled here and there. With its gorgeous foliage there is a variety to accent anything planted near it. Hosta keeps a low profile, so it’s great for the front of the garden or bed, but you can place them in among the taller plants as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Dicentra image courtesy: Monteregina/Creative Commons

Hosta image courtesy: Henryr10/Creative Commons