Plants for a Shaded Garden | At Home With P. Allen Smith

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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 muchshade to have anything beautiful? Huh, let me prove you wrong.

You know, if you havea shady area in your garden, you're probably always scratching your head and going: Whatam I gonna plant here? Grass won't grow.

Certain plants won't grow.

There's seems to be a limitedplant palate.

If you're lookin' for color, you think: Well, the Annuals that I can plantare pretty limited.

You can do Palladiums, you can Begonias, you can do Impatiens.

Butwhat about a shade garden that comes back every year? But you always have the bonesof a garden.

That what's there is going to last, in the way of shrubs, in the way ofPerennials and ground covers.

You know, a garden doesn't have to be full of color tobe a beautiful garden.

There are other aspects of it that can give it lots of soul, suchas texture.

Let's walk over here and take a look at some Perennials you might wannaconsider that'll come back every year in your garden.

Now I said, Perennials, but we'llget to those in just a minute.

I think it's important to think about the structure ofa garden.

And even in a shade garden, you need forms that will create garden spacesand pull the eye in certain directions.

You know, one of the great shade plants is theHydrangea, 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 kindsof things that you can plant to give your garden some structure that will always bethere.

Now let's talk about those Perennials, meaning: Plants that will come back, yearafter year, after dying back, once they get cold.

And let's start with Hosta.

Now I grabbeda couple of ferns to illustrate something for you, as I approach Hostaland.

Now let'stalk about this classic Perennial.

Just look at the range of Hosta that you can see inthis garden center.

Hostas can be very tiny, up to really ginormous Hostas.

There's onecalled, Empress Wu, which has leaves that are this wide.

Really, very impressive.

Soif you're looking for texture and a bit of color contrast, you can go with some thesethat 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 isor this bronze color is next to this chartreuse Hosta.

So with color like this, why do youreally need blooms.

And remember, these two plants are very perennial and they're gonnacome 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 anotherone is Royal Fern.

And why don't we take a look at some Heuchera, because these are greatPerennials, 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 alook at this small section of Heucheras or Coral Bells.

You've got chartreuse here.

You'vegot some that almost are pink to terra cotta in color.

These have a silvery, almost iridescentcolor 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 pinkflower.

And then back to another type, which is a chartreuse variety, that has bit of apink vein to it.

You see, Heucheras, are a Native American plant, where they've donea 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 shadegarden 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 thisMondo 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 isStrawberry Begonia, one of my favorites.

It's old fashioned, has beautiful leaves and agorgeous little, delicate flower.

And, of course, you don't have to have any plantsat all, if you have a shade garden.

You could have a water feature like this.

But that'sa whole other subject.

If you're enjoying following these ideas about style and howto make your outdoor living spaces more beautiful, check in with us regularly.

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