Since I garden in a very hot, dry area I always wish I had more shade in my garden. When we started this garden years ago I purposefully planted shade trees for the future and it has paid off. As the garden matures I now have more areas where I can enjoy the shade and grow many of my favourite plants.
In general shade plants do not offer as much bright and colourful flower power as the sun lovers, but they make up for it with their attractive foliage. Pretty flowers come and go throughout the season but attractive foliage is there for the entire time. As an added bonus, many shade plants also have beautiful blooms. I often hear gardeners say that shade plants are classy plants.
Ferns make me feel tropical, and there are ferns that will even grow in poorer dry soil. I’ve noticed our nurseries have been bringing in many different fern varieties over the last few years.
Solomon’s Seal ( Polygonatum )
This lovely plant will even grow under trees. I love this plant with its arching stems and bell-like flowers.
This is a large group of plants with a wide range of types. Generally they can be divided into 3 main groups: Daisy flowered, Poppy flowered and Japanese.
Hosta are a duel purpose plant, they offer both attractive leaves and spikes of trumpet shaped blooms.
Perennial Forget-me-not is beautiful with large sprays of small starry blue flowers. Equally as attractive are the various cultivars which have very decorative leaves.
This an excellent architectural perennial for gardens with lots of room and lots of moisture.
Astrantia ( Masterwort )
Astrantia is a cottage garden plant with flowers having a frill of papery bracts at the base and a cluster of tiny flowers above. The leaves are deeply divided.
An annual which is very useful in both borders and planters. Very decorative leaves in many shades and patterns.
An old time favourite suitable for any garden. In hot areas the foliage will probably die back to the ground so have something else planted in front of it to take it’s place.
Ginger has lovely shiny leaves and grows low to the ground making it an excellent ground cover plant.
A light airy plant for the back of the border. The leaves resemble maidenhair fern and the stems support large heads of tiny flowers. Thrives in partial shade.
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