All Shade is Not Created Equal
Traditional shade favorites such as hosta, coralbells, coleus, and impatiens do the heavy lifting in the shadiest areas under the trees. Farther from the canopy, a few extra hours of sunlight each day make it possible to include black-eyed Susan and geranium. Enjoy the colorful patchwork from the comfort of an Adirondack chair (#447157, model RCFNC7X967.5-PS).
Good to Know: Plant tags often provide information on the amount of light a plant needs. Full Sun: 6+ hours of sunlight a day. Partial Sun: 4–6 hours. Partial Shade: 2–4 hours. Shade: Less than 2 hours of sunlight a day.
Beauty Beyond Blooms
While it’s hard to miss the black-eyed Susans, red geraniums, and impatiens lining a path, foliage plants bring their own brand of artistry to the garden. They’re large enough to command attention and offer pleasing textural contrasts. Be sure to cluster plants for greatest emphasis.
Hostas are a mainstay and will grow in full shade if given enough water. They come in a range of greens and blues -- many with attractive variegation -- and look good meandering in ribbons through other plants. Pair them with annual coleus, which offers bright colors and patterns that contrast handsomely with hosta.
A Brighter Idea
With a little sunlight, you can also grow sweet potato vine with lime, chocolate, or variegated foliage.
Shade Garden Planting Plan
This simple planting plan offers plenty of color and texture throughout the growing season. Adaptable black-eyed Susans and geraniums are placed where they get a few extra hours of sunlight a day.
A lime-color sweet potato vine stands out in combination with a burgundy, red, and pink coleus in a vintage container.