Shady Ladies

On this Focus On Flowers, Moya talks about the perfect flowers for your shade garden.

A Spanish bluebell.

Photo: Steve.Maw (Flickr)

Spanish bluebells find bloom in early Spring.

Shade gardens are especially appealing to many of us as they seem to soothe the senses. If we have a wooded lot we are always on the lookout for flowering plants that will perform without full sun.

Spring Flowers

At this time of the year, as we assess where there were gaps in flowering in our gardens this past summer, we can make lists of perennial plants that we may want to add for next year.

We still have time to get some of the small bulbs that flower in early spring: winter aconite, snowdrops, squill, glory of the snow and Spanish bluebells for naturalizing. We also may want to consider some Lily of the Valley, Virginia Bluebells, and Bleeding Heart for spring bloom. Astilbes are a must.

Pulmonarias, commonly known as lungwort, provide wonderful foliage as well as pink and blue flowers and celadine poppies. Brunnera and Heuchera thrive in partial shade and we all like the unusual flowers of Lenten Roses.

Summer Flowers

For bloom in summer, there are improved lamiums with white, pink, and purple flowers. The tall perennial lobelias have blooms in both red and blue.

The Lycoris lilies, sometimes called August lilies, have a cool pink flower. Perennial Begonias are a mainstay of my shade garden at season’s end. Begonia Grandis is hardy in zones 5-10 and the drooping pink clusters of flowers persist through the fall.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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