My parents took great pride in their yard every season. I certainly believe I planted and tended to more vegetation in my youth than many people do in their entire lives! Summer is here and your yard is . . . well . . . ugly. Nearly completely covered in shade there is really no use in spending the time or money to beautify an area stripped of sunlight beauty, right? Wrong! Shady yards can become beautiful wonderland retreats filled with bright, colorful blooms and little or no scorching sun.
It is commonly thought that shady areas can only be home to leafy green plants, but if you know which flowers thrive in the shade, you will be able to plant an array of colorful flowers to build your dream garden.
Also known as Golden Hakone Grass, this leafy plant offers a rich golden color to your garden landscape. Imparting an almost tropical feel the plant thrives in both full sun and partial shade, but beware it takes a little while to grow to full size. The plants grown best when planted in loose, organically rich soil. The plants should be spaced 2-3 feet apart and will grow to 2-3 feet in height. This is a ground cover plant so it will spread over time. Hardiness: Zones 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b.
EUROPEAN WILD GINGER
Also known as Wild Ginger or Little Jug, the European Wild Ginger is the perfect pant for a shady area or full yard. The heart-shaped leaves are richly colored and purple flowers bloom singly each spring. This plant is considered a groundcover plant and will grow to cover large areas quickly. Dark, humus rich soil should be used for bedding and the plants should be sown 3-6 inches apart. An adult European Wild Ginger plant will grow from 6-12 inches in height. **This plant is poisonous and should not be used by families with children or pets*** Hardiness: Zones 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Also known as the False Spirea, the Astilbe is a gracious, flowering plant that grows wonderfully in partial shade. The plants are nutrient sensitive, so you will need to add fertilizer at least once per growing season. The dark richly colored leaves are the highlight of the plant, but the feathery pink flower plume that has a graceful, airy appearance. The plants should be sewn in nutrient rich soil 15-18 inches apart and will grow to 12-18 inches in height. The plants need to be kept moist at all times so mulching may be a requirement. Hardiness: Zones 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a
The Rhododendron Shrub is one of the most versatile and hardy shrubs you could include in your shade garden. The shrub produces large beautiful flowers that vary in color (but are usually pink in hue). There are no special soil needs for the Rhododendron. When sowing the plants be sure to plant them 4-6 feet apart to allow the plant to grow to full size. The plant will grow from 3-4 feet in height and 3-5 feet in width. Hardiness: Zones 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a
Also known as Alumroot, the Coral Bell is a hardy plant that seems to thrive best in partial shade conditions. With well over 50 varieties the flowers range in color from bright yellows to deep purples. To produce the most visually appealing garden you will need to plant the flowers in large masses due to small flower size. There are no special requirements for soil or watering. The plants should be sewn 24-36 inches apart and will grow to 12-18 inches in height. Hardiness: Zones 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Your shady yard does not have to be the bane of your existence. You can beautify any area whether full or partial shade, with a variety of shade thriving plants and flowers. From vibrant green leaves to a rainbow of colorful blooms, there is a plant for the green thumb (and shady yard) in us all!