Guides: Shade

 

Camellias

Queens of the winter flowers, Camellias are attractive evergreen shrubs that are highly prized for the beauty of their exquisite blooms, their splendid evergreen foliage and their compact shapely habit. Blooming prodigiously for weeks from fall to spring (depending on climate and variety), when the rest of the garden offers little, Camellias are ranked as one of the very best flowering shrubs

Galanthus (Snowdrops)

There are 20 different Snowdrop species and several hundreds of hybrids. Yes, several hundreds (!). The craze known as Galanthophilia has swept through the ranks of gardening enthusiasts in the past few years. While all snowdrops look the same to the uninitiated - dainty, nodding white flowers, with a dab of green, held on a thin arching stalk at the end of a thicker stem - they reveal their differences when you take a closer look.

Trilliums

One of the most beloved of the spring woodland wildflowers, Trilliums (Wake Robin) are remarkable rhizomatous perennials with unbranched stems, noted for the perfect symmetry of their leaves, petals and sepals which all come in groups of three, hence the genus name. Their blooms can be either showy or discrete, their foliage handsomely mottled. Jewels of the shade garden, they are fully hardy and will blossom and blend beautifully with other woodland plants.

Erythronium (Dog Tooth Violets)

A member of the Lily family, Erythronium (Dog Tooth Violet) are charming bulbous perennials grown for their nodding, lily-shaped flowers adorned with gracefully reflexed petals in spring. Equally attractive is their foliage of elliptic leaves, often copiously marbled with purple-bronze.

Helleborus (Hellebores)

There are 17 Hellebore species. Most are native to the mountainous regions of Europe, especially the Balkan region of the former Yugoslavia, south along the eastern Adriatic to Greece and Turkey. Many of the species have been interbred, producing countless hybrid Hellebores in a rich array of colors and forms.

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua is one of the loveliest fall flowers, graceful in form, tender in color and pleasing in fragrance. As summer fades and the leaves begin to turn, this camellia opens, with aplomb, the camellia season.

Camellia japonica (Japanese Camellia)

Camellia japonica is the predominant species of the genus and counts over 30 000 cultivars in a wide array of flower forms and colors. Its shapely habit, handsome, glossy foliage and fabulous flowers have attracted gardeners for hundreds of years in Japan, China and Korea.

Camellia x williamsii (Hybrid Camellia)

Camellia x williamsii are the first camellia hybrids. Generally blooming after the Japanese camellias, they result from the cross of Camellia japonica and Camellia saluenensis. Among the most cold-hardy camellias (inherited from the japonica parent), most of them are extremely vigorous, free-blooming, with attractive, semi-glossy, leathery leaves.

Actaea simplex (Bugbane)

Fabulous at adding architectural height and late summer blooms to a shaded border, Actaea Simplex (Bugbane), formerly known as Cimicifuga Simplex, is very eye-catching with its long, fluffy spires packed with strongly fragrant, tiny starry creamy-white flowers.

Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish Bluebells)

Easy to grow, low care and incredibly good-looking, Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) is a great bulbous perennial to have! Each bulb produces attractive, nodding, bell-shaped flowers hanging from sturdy, round flower stalks, atop clumps of glossy strap-shaped leaves. Blooming heartily from mid to late spring, Spanish Bluebell is a beautiful and reliable addition to the landscape, where it will happily multiply in optimum growing conditions.

Hakonechloa macra (Hakone Grass)

Grown for its handsome and eye-catching foliage, Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra) is a long-lived, tough, ornamental grass that, unlike most grasses, loves moist shady conditions.

Ajuga reptans (Carpet Bugle)

Valued as a wonderful spreader making colorful groundcovers with its dense, attractive leaf rosettes, Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans) is a quick mat-forming grower which will thrive in shady areas where grass won't grow

Hosta (Plantain Lily)

Ridiculously easy-to-grow and long-lived, Hostas (Plantain Lilies) are shade-loving perennials that are highly prized by gardeners for their elegance and attractive foliage. Native to eastern Asia, these low-maintenance foliage plants are fabulous for shady areas

Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss)

Resembling Forget-Me-Nots, Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss) are rhizomatous herbaceous perennials with large, ovate or heart-shaped basal leaves and pretty sprays of small bright blue flowers in spring. Although their clouds of bright blue flowers add cool and striking color to the landscape, Brunneras are mostly valued for their beautiful foliage which creates a lush carpet of deep green or variegated leaves.

Astilbes

Immensely popular, Astilbes are fabulous plants for shady, moist conditions. Admired for their graceful, colorful flower plumes rising elegantly above mounds of fern-like foliage which remains attractive all season long, they light up your shade garden for weeks and add a dazzling splash of color in the landscape

Tuberous Begonias

Which one is for you?

Begonia grandis (Hardy Begonia)

Truly hardy, Begonia grandis are tuberous perennials noted for their exquisite and lush foliage of winged-shaped, olive green leaves, adorned with red veining and colorful undersides. From midsummer to fall, arching clusters of nodding pink or white flowers can be admired at the tips of branching pinkish-red stems.

Best Perennials for Moist and Wet Soils in New England

If you are looking for beautiful, low-maintenance and hardy plants that thrive in moist or wet locations, you may want to consider these top performing perennials which will happily carry color through the garden. 

Best Perennials for Late Summer and Fall in New England

Many gardens are at their best in spring and summer, but attention should also be given to their fall display as well. There are many spectacular late-flowering perennials that have the potential to revive your garden in the fall and extend color and joy in your landscape.

Best Perennials for Full Shade Gardens in New England

If you are looking for beautiful, low-maintenance and hardy plants that will thrive in shade, you may want to consider these top performing perennials which will suit nicely.

Best Perennials for Gardeners in New England

Selecting the right perennial might be daunting for New England gardeners. If you are looking for beautiful, low-maintenance and hardy plants that thrive in the New England region, you may want to consider these top performing perennials which will happily carry color through the garden

Best Perennials for Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest Region

Carefully selecting plants suited to the Pacific Northwest climate will be a key step to success. Plants will have to be drought tolerant in order to cope with the summer months with little or no rain. They will also have to survive the regular cold rainfall in winter and should be resistant to fungal diseases (as a result of the high humidity).

Best Perennials for Moist and Wet Soils in the Pacific Northwest

If you are looking for beautiful and low-maintenance plants that thrive in moist or wet locations, you may want to consider these top performing perennials which will happily carry color through the garden. 

Best Perennials for Late Summer and Fall in the Pacific Northwest

There are many spectacular late-flowering perennials that have the potential to revive your garden in the fall and extend color and joy in your landscape.