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  • Writer's pictureCindy McCue

There's More to Shade Gardening Than Hostas

When the temperature rises and it's way too hot to enjoy gardening in the sun, it's the perfect time for shade gardening. Whether your shade garden is the envy of all your gardening friends or your shade garden is 'where the Hostas go', we have some fresh suggestions to make it even cooler this year.

As much as we love Hostas, they don't add much in the way of color to your shade garden. And while we're on the subject of color, let's address a common myth we hear a lot from our customers - they think if you have full shade or part shade you can't have color. That's a common misconception. While many of the most popular shade plants add nothing but green to your garden, it is possible to have color in your shady gardens.

For example, if you're looking for some spring color, there are a multitude of different flowering perennials and natives to choose from - many of which will flower before those Hosta even poke their heads out of the ground. Perennials such as Brunnera (perennial Forget-Me-Nots, whimsical little blue flowers atop variegated foliage), Primula (many different hardy species), Pulmonaria (Lungwort, spring flowering and spotted foliage for accents anytime), and Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts in many shapes, sizes, and colors - from blooming in the spring to blooming all year long).

Epimedium varieties are another underused perennial in a shady garden. They may only bloom in the springtime, but their foliage looks beautiful all year long. Most even change colors as they go on in the season. The greatest part about giving your shade garden some love while it is so hot in the summer is that in the spring you will be so thankful that you gave it some time now.

As a final quick suggestion, there are many varieties that are yet to bloom in the shade garden. One of our favorite late blooming shade perennials is the Tricyrtis or Toad Lily.

They come in so many different colors and each beautiful flower on these plants look like miniature orchids. They add that vibrant color as they rise over their foliage!

(Photo: Dicentra eximia Snowdrift - flowers all season long!)

Let Us Help You Get Your Shade Garden Into Shape

The natives you can add to the shade garden are endless. We recommend stopping by to visit us and we can show you some options based on your situation and preferences. We can help you add textures, blooms, shapes, and colors to your shady escape from the heat.

Feel free to comment with your favorite shade plants or questions you may have and we'll do our best to help you out. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you are staying cool in the shade on these hot days!

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