Create a Garden in your Shady Spot Create a Garden in your Shady Spot
For the border, you can't go wrong with easy to care for Impatiens. This is a disease resistant annual that grows in a wide variety of colors, only up to about four or five inches. Wait until the risk of frost has past before planting. You can mix colors to create any effect you like. They flower form early summer to first frost.
Pansies are another option you might want to mix in close to the border. They come in a wide variety of colors. They tend to prefer cooler weather and can droop in the hot weather. They can survive the winter in mild conditions/areas.
For the middle of your garden, Hosta can be ideal. This perennial will come back every year. They have large green leaves that come in white and green. Some are solid green. In the summer they grow long shoots with pink petals on them. They don't do very well in the sun and tend to get sun damage, but they do fine in part to full shade. Hosta can also be easily transplanted in the spring. They tend to get bigger and wider as the years pass. These plants aren't troubled by many pests, but if you notice large round holes in the leaves, you might have a slug problem. Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that has tiny sharp edges. These edges injure the pests on contact, causing them to dry out and die. Reapply after every rainfall.
Another suggestion for the middle of your garden is the perennial "Live-forever" or Sedum. They have thick, rubber-like green leaves and bloom in the late summer. The blooms are white, yellow or red. These can also be easily transplanted in the spring.
If shade from trees blocks the sun from your garden, you might want to consider spring blooming bulbs. Flowers such as tulips and daffodils are finished blooming by the time the trees regain their leaves.
For the mid to rear section of the garden, ferns can be a nice addition. Although they don't bloom, they can help fill in areas and add texture to your garden. They also come back year after year and even spread.
For the rear section (or center if your garden is round), try the tall Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia). They have dark reddish leaves. Blooms can be red or blue. This plant grows two to five feet. It flowers in mid-summer and attracts butterflies/hummingbirds. Do not plant this one if you have small children around because they are poisonous.
Bugbanes (Cimcifuga) is another tall, easy to grow plant that will stand out at the back of the garden. It's a shrub like plant that grows long, thin white blooms. It can reach two to eight feet, flowing in the mid summer.
One last tip: Often times the shade garden doesn't get enough water due to it being blocked by trees. Add mulch to your shade garden. This will keep moisture in, but you also must water it when you notice the soil drying out.
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