Landscaping for Shady Locations
Angelwing Begonia Size: 1.2m Light: Partial shade This plant has small, coral-red flowers and wide, bright green leaves making it an attractive addition to the garden. Plant this begonia in light, sandy soil that has been enriched with peat moss and compost. Be sure to keep the soil moist throughout the summer.
Bearded Iris Size: 0.5m Light: Partial shade Bearded iris is a particularly hardy, long-lived type of iris. The flowers are available in many colours including blue, pink, purple, white and yellow. A fuzzy line or beard runs down the middle of each of three inner petals. Most varieties of bearded irises will flower in the spring but some of the new cultivars will flower again in the summer and fall.
Bleeding Heart Size: 0.4m Light: Partial shade Pink and white heart-shaped blooms hang delicately from arching stems. This plant's fernlike leaves add an elegant touch. This woodland native prefers partial shade with rich, organic, moist soil but it will tolerate full sun if given enough moisture.
Columbine Size: 0.5m Light: Partial shade Blue, yellow, mauve and pink are just some of the many vivid colours of Columbine flowers. This plant is a short-lived perennial and should be replaced every three to four years. Columbine thrives in moist, well-drained soil.
Coneflowers Size: 1.5m Light: Partial shade If you enjoy butterflies, plant coneflowers. In addition to increasing the sight of colourful butterflies, coneflowers produce a wide array of boldly coloured flowers. This plant is very hardy if it is grown in well-drained, humus-rich soil and receives regular watering throughout the summer.
Coral Bells (Heuchera) Size: 0.5m Light: Partial to full shadeâ€¨Tiny, bell-shaped flowers bloom on narrow stems from early spring to early summer. The lobe-shaped leaves are rich green showing hints of red in the autumn. Coral bells require humus-rich soil and regular watering.
Daylily Size: 0.6m Light: Partial shade Daylilies produce large flowers in a variety of colours on long delicate stems. Daylilies should be planted in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. The plants will benefit from some shade in hot, dry situations, particularly the darker colours as they tend to fade in strong sunlight.
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia variety) Size: 0.5m Light: Partial shade to shade This plant has heart-shaped leaves with tall clusters of white to pale-pink flowers in May. Foamflowers well with spring bulbs such as bluebells. This plant requires moist, humus-rich soil.
Lantana Size: 0.2m Light: Partial shade Lantana creates a groundcover carpet of golden yellow and green leaves. Pink-purple flowers with yellow centers bloom from spring to summer. This attractive plant requires only regular watering and annual additions of compost to the soil.
Lenten roses (Hellebores) Size: 0.5m Light: Partial shade Lenten roses are slow to establish themselves but after a few years you will be rewarded with large displays of flowers in the early spring. This hardy, pest-resistant plant thrives in well-drained soil that has been enriched with compost. Lenten roses will tolerate slightly acid soils but seem to do best in neutral pH soils.
Lily-of-the-valley Size: 0.25m Light: Partial to full shade This woodland native produces white, bell-shaped, fragrant flowers on arching leafless stems. This plant prefers moist, humus-rich soil.
Wild Rhubarb / Bear's Breeches Size: 1.5m Light: Partial to full shade The flower of this striking plant resembles a bear's bushy tail. The main flower cluster rises high above the foliage and blooms in a profusion of small white, pink or red blossoms. This vigorous plant can grow in any soil type and will quickly fill in a spacious border. The flowers can be dried for flower arrangements.
Bluebells Size: 0.5m Light: Partial shade This plant produces clusters of pink and blue funnel-shaped flowers. Bluebells require partial shade and medium rich soil. Do not be surprised if the foliage dries up in early July; this plant has a short life cycle. You may wish to collect the seeds for the next year.
Impatiens Size: 0.2 to 0.4m Light: Partial shade Impatiens bloom in a wide range of colours: red, white, pink, coral and orange. You will find varieties that produce solid colours and/or stripes. Grow impatiens in moist, humus-rich soil.
Oregon Grapeholly Size: 1.5 to 2m Light: Partial to full shade The glossy, holly-like evergreen foliage of this plant turns an attractive purple-red in fall. Yellow flowers in the spring become blue-black fruit in fall. Oregon Grapeholly requires a moist, acidic soil.
Manhattan Euonymus Size: 2m Light: Partial shade This shrub is a good choice for a sheared hedge. Small, dark green leaves contrast nicely with attractive pinkish fruit.
Korean Wintergreen Boxwood Size: 0.75m Light: Partial to full shade This broadleaf evergreen shrub has medium green to dark green foliage. The compact leaves of this plant make it ideal for use as a hedge.
Annabelle Hydrangea Size: 2m Light: Partial shade This variety of hydrangea is quite tolerant of shade and produces large clusters of white flower heads from May to September. You may find that the flowers are small the first year as the plant becomes established. Grow in moist, well-drained soil and add compost at least once a year.
Bugle Size: 0.1 to 0.2m Light: Partial to full shade Bugle plants provide dense, attractive groundcover. The colour of the foliage ranges from silver-green to bronze-green to purple. This hardy plant will tolerate poor soil, even in full shade.
Caladium (Angel Wings, Elephant's Ears) Size: 0.6m Light: Partial to full shade The large, multi-coloured, arrow-shaped leaves of this plant make it a striking addition to a garden. The foliage has blotches of pink, white, bronze and green. Caladium requires only average soil and normal watering.
Golden Creeping Jenny Size: 0.1m Light: Shade The foliage of this hardy plant has a rich, golden sheen. In spring, it produces small up-turned flowers in various colours. Grow this plant in moist, humus-rich soil. Do not allow the plant to dry out in the summer months.
Lady's Mantle Size: 0.5m Light: Partial shade Lady's Mantle produces billowy sprays of chartreuse flowers in summer. The vivid green foliage and flowers extend throughout the summer months. With normal watering and adequate compost, this plant will thrive and create attractive groundcover.
Large-leaved Periwinkle Size: 0.25m Light: Partial to full shade Despite the name, this plant is bright green. It is also a vigorous plant, which quickly 'carpets' any garden space it is allowed. Periwinkle can brighten flowerbeds and borders, particularly under large trees and shrubs where it can be difficult to grow other plants.
With a little patience and regular care, these shade-dwelling plants will brighten up even the darkest corners of your garden!