Are you one of those people who love a garden,
but complain, because you don’t think you have enough sun, and you have way too much
shade to have anything beautiful? Huh, let me prove you wrong. You know, if you have
a shady area in your garden, you’re probably always scratching your head and going: What
am I gonna plant here? Grass won’t grow. Certain plants won’t grow. There’s seems to be a limited
plant palate. If you’re lookin’ for color, you think: Well, the Annuals that I can plant
are pretty limited. You can do Palladiums, you can Begonias, you can do Impatiens. But
what about a shade garden that comes back every year? But you always have the bones
of a garden. That what’s there is going to last, in the way of shrubs, in the way of
Perennials and ground covers. You know, a garden doesn’t have to be full of color to
be a beautiful garden. There are other aspects of it that can give it lots of soul, such
as texture. Let’s walk over here and take a look at some Perennials you might wanna
consider that’ll come back every year in your garden. Now I said, Perennials, but we’ll
get to those in just a minute. I think it’s important to think about the structure of
a garden. And even in a shade garden, you need forms that will create garden spaces
and pull the eye in certain directions. You know, one of the great shade plants is the
Hydrangea, and there’re so many to choose from. And, you know, when you talk about shade,
there are different types of shade. There’s light shade and really, really dark shade.
If you get a little bit of light in, the range of plants that you can grow is really, actually,
pretty wide. Azalea’s love shade. Many Susquehanna Camellias love shade. Other types of Camellias.
Also, Rhododendrons of all types. Certainly Hollies and Boxwoods. So there are all kinds
of things that you can plant to give your garden some structure that will always be
there. Now let’s talk about those Perennials, meaning: Plants that will come back, year
after year, after dying back, once they get cold. And let’s start with Hosta. Now I grabbed
a couple of ferns to illustrate something for you, as I approach Hostaland. Now let’s
talk about this classic Perennial. Just look at the range of Hosta that you can see in
this garden center. Hostas can be very tiny, up to really ginormous Hostas. There’s one
called, Empress Wu, which has leaves that are this wide. Really, very impressive. So
if you’re looking for texture and a bit of color contrast, you can go with some these
that are slightly variegated. The broad leaf of the Hosta is perfect to use with ferns.
And I picked up this fern, which is one of my favorites, is one called, Autumn Fern.
The reason for that is that it has this beautiful bronze coloring to the prawns of the fern.
This particular cultivar is called Brilliance. And just look how beautiful Brilliance is
or this bronze color is next to this chartreuse Hosta. So with color like this, why do you
really need blooms. And remember, these two plants are very perennial and they’re gonna
come back, year after year. And this is just scratching the surface, when it comes to ferns.
There’s so many to choose from. One of my favorites is Maidenhair Fern. And another
one is Royal Fern. And why don’t we take a look at some Heuchera, because these are great
Perennials, where there’s been a lot of advancements made in the breeding of them. That’s right,
they do breed plants, and they come out with some outstanding varieties. So just take a
look at this small section of Heucheras or Coral Bells. You’ve got chartreuse here. You’ve
got some that almost are pink to terra cotta in color. These have a silvery, almost iridescent
color to the leaf. Back to some that are very terra cotta in color. These almost are bronze-like.
And just look at these: I love this color. This will go gorgeous with any sort of pink
flower. And then back to another type, which is a chartreuse variety, that has bit of a
pink vein to it. You see, Heucheras, are a Native American plant, where they’ve done
a lot of crossbreeding to get all these interesting colors and veining patterns in the leaves.
Which just adds one more lovely plant to the palette of plants that we can use in our shade
garden that will come back, year after year. And let’s not forget about ground covers,
because they’re very reliable. And very beautiful, some even bloom, like this old classic called,
Vinca Minor. This one’s called, Bowls Blue, and it has a beautiful blue flower. Or this
Mondo Grass, which is beautiful in Asian-style gardens. It also comes in a color called,
Black Mondo, which is really, really dark green. And one more for you to consider is
Strawberry Begonia, one of my favorites. It’s old fashioned, has beautiful leaves and a
gorgeous little, delicate flower. And, of course, you don’t have to have any plants
at all, if you have a shade garden. You could have a water feature like this. But that’s
a whole other subject. If you’re enjoying following these ideas about style and how
to make your outdoor living spaces more beautiful, check in with us regularly. And subscribe
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