Shade gardens are a great opportunity to grow perennials that do not like being exposed to the scorching heat of summer!
There are many plants that thrive in the shade and once you match your garden conditions with the right plants- you will be able to enjoy your shady spaces even more.

While there are many shade-loving plants to choose from, it is difficult to create a full shade garden filled with blossoms. Working in shady conditions means choosing plants with a range of beautiful foliage that may offer some flowers throughout the season.

First you must identify the kind of shade you are working with.
PART SHADE
Partial shade can mean a combination of direct morning sun followed by afternoon shade or it can refer to dappled sunlight or fairly bright shade found under a deciduous tree with medium to small sized leaves.

FULL SHADE
This type of shade mostly occurs on the north side of buildings even if there is a bit of morning or evening sun that may permeate. Full shade can also be found under dense large leafed trees and under most evergreens.
Look for the symbols for Part Shade and Full Shade on the plant labels at the garden centre and choose plants accordingly.

If a plant requires Full Sun, they will not thrive in shady conditions.

MOISTURE in the SHADE
Most shade plants will adapt to conditions under the canopy of a tree, but they will still require regular watering. New plantings will require deep watering throughout the first season. Mulching around your plants will help retain water in the soil.
While some perennial shade plants require a lot of moisture (bugbane, astilbe), there are those that prefer drier conditions. Larger trees can consume much of the moisture in an area so dry-tolerant perennials will be your best choice. Plantings under evergreens also require particular attention to watering.

DESIGN in LAYERS
Planting springtime bulbs (Scillia, Crocus, Snowdrops) are a terrific way to add colour and the plants emerge before the trees leaf out.
Place creeping, low growing plants along the edge of your garden, while building up taller perennials towards the back. Planting bright annuals in a container can also bring a shade garden some interest.

Come by the Garden Centre for more advice or to find the plants listed below!

Perennials for DRY SHADE Conditions

Variegated Japanese Sedge
Broadleaf Sedge
Lily-of-the-Valley
Barrenwort
Bigroot Cranesbill
English Ivy
St. John’s-wort
Yellow Archangel
Creeping Lamium
Greater Wood-rush
Periwinkle
Japanese Spurge

Perennials for Medium-Moist SHADE Conditions

Maidenhair Fern
Carpet Bugle
Wild Ginger
Astilbe
Painted Fern
Siberian Bugloss
Bleeding Heart
Sweet Woodruff
Lenten Rose
Coral Bells
Hosta
Creeping Jenny
Ostrich Fern
Forget-me-not
Solomon’s Seal
Primrose
Lungwort
Foamflower
Toad-lily
NOTE: some plants may not be available at this time. 

 

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