With the heat of summer coming on there is nothing more relaxing than finding a cool shady spot in the yard to chill out. A glade of greenery and ferns can make a very restful and cool garden if that is what you are looking for, but a shade garden can be very colorful and attractive in the heat of summer with proper plant selection. Here are three of our favorite perennials for shade:
This family is the workhorse of the shade garden. From tiny leaves that work well as groundcovers and container plants, to gargantuan sizes that rival shrubbery, nothing beats the visual impact of these plants. Deep greens and blues or bright chartreuse and glistening white contrasts on the leaves really stand out in the shade. As a matter of fact, the deeper the shade the better! They work well as specimen plants or planted in large drifts.
These are not your grandma’s coral bells. Colorful leaves that glow like stained glass in dappled sunlight add real color to the shade garden. Names like plum pudding, fire alarm and peach flambe give a clue to their stunning foliage, and the flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. These plants do best in part sun/part shade in rich, moist soil.
Soft feathery plumes in shades of white, pink and red over deep green fern-like foliage provide a burst of color in the shade garden. Astilbes start blooming in June and provide nectar for butterflies. Try planting drifts of different colors with staggered bloom times to increase the colorful effect. Astilbes like moist soil and appreciate a good layer of mulch around their roots.
Come check out our selection of ferns and other assorted shade lovers – we love gardens as much as you do.