Shade lovers are some of my favorite perennials for the garden. I wish I had more shady areas in my yard for these beautiful plants. The photos above show some of my favorite ones. Ajuga or Bugle weed can be a bit weedy at times, but it works great in areas where nothing else would work. Plus it can stand up to a bit of foot traffic and helps eliminate soil erosion. The blooms are fantastic in spring and when planted in masses it looks like a sea of irridescent blueish purple spikes. My other favorite groundcover is Sweet Woodruff, the star shaped foliage and sweet little white blooms is a must for the shade. It will tolerate dry shade but during long droughts I will give a bit of supplemental watering to keep it going strong. Hosta foliage comes in a variety of colors, textures, sizes and shapes. I don’t find the flowers of most them that interesting, so I plant it mainly for the lush foliage. Ferns add texture and interest combined with the other perennials. Christmas Fern is evergreen but the new fiddleheads emerge each April opening up into a brighter green than the older fronds from the previous year. At this point I tend to cut back some of the aging fronds. Astilbe has beautiful foliage as well as gorgeous blooms that brighten up the shady nooks. There are a variety of colors but I prefer the white myself. It also requires a bit of supplemental watering during extended dry periods. The more shade it gets in my garden the more drought tolerant I’ve found it to be. Last but not least is the wonderful variegated Solomon’s Seal. It multiplies happily in my garden every year and the tiny white bells on the underside of the branches are quite sweet if not long lived. Supposibly it produces blue berries after the flowers have faded, but I’ve never seen any on mine in the 5 or 6 years I’ve grown it. However the foliage continues to look good throughout the summer into early autumn. This is a short selection of what is growing in my garden but they are a few of my favorites. What are some of your favorite shade loving perennials?
Shade Loving Perennials