Shade is a blessing and a curse to the gardener. Nothing is as refreshing as a shady nook on a hot summer day, but nothing is as challenging to plant as a shady nook, right? To help make it easier on you we want to provide a list of the top ten plants for shade, whether it's dry shade, full shade, deep shade or dappled shade. We're sure you will find something to make your shade garden sing!
1) Hosta (Hosta sp.) - These are the queens of the shady garden. Perennials that die to the ground with the first freeze, they unfurl dramatic leaves in the spring in a huge range of patterns and shades of green.
2) Columbine (Aquilegia) - If you're looking for flowering plants for shade, you can't go wrong with these little beauties. Striking flower shapes and colors attract hummingbirds, too!
3) Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) - Classic flowering bushes for shade, hydrangeas are scene-stealers in your shady garden. They make a humdrum spot instantly romantic.
4) Periwinkle (Vinca minor) - is a shade loving groundcover that has beautiful purple/blue flowers. Looks great under woodland ephemerals and is thick enough to keep weeds away.
5) Lamium (Lamium maculatum) - This short-statured groundcover looks great between stepping stones, handles light foot traffic and comes in a wide array of leaf shapes and colors. It also blooms in the spring attracting pollinators!
6) Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis) - This beauty pumps up huge feathery plumes from deep red to pink to white all spring and summer. Instant refinement for your garden.
7) Impatiens (Impatiens sp. esp. walleriana) - These garden annuals are flower powerhouses, covering themselves in jewel toned flowers all summer. Hugely popular bedding plants, these are great in containers, too.
8) Fern (leptosporangiate) - This is a wide group of plants, many native to the US, that are commonly found in woodlands. They range from stream dwellers that thrive in wet conditions to ones that love dry shade. They add an uncommon grace and instant woodland appeal to home gardens or containers.
9) Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens') - This dark leaved little plant is striking as an edger around your shady beds. Always draws attention.
10) Coral Bells (Heuchera) - You can have an interesting and beautiful shade garden with nothing but coral bells. The leaves come in a wide range of forms and colors from deep maroon to electric chartreuse. Many of them send up spikes of flowers, too! Thrives in hard to plant areas like under oaks.