What can I grow in the shade?

waplummer(Z5 NY)January 1, 2013

The secret of success in gardening is to choose plants that are adapted to the site whether it be xeriscaping or bog gardening; Mediterranean or continental climate; woodlands or prairies; sun or shade. There are more shade plants than you might imagine. True most perennials bloom in spring and the summer and fall garden do not offer a large selection. But flowers are not the be all and end all of gardening. Choose plants for their foliage and year round interest and consider flowers as a bonus. Understory trees, such as flowering dogwood, provide bloom in the spring, structural interest, attractive bark and berries in the fall. Flowering shrubs such as viburnums offer bloom and berries for attracting wildlife. Broad-leaf evergreen shrubs, Rhododendrons for example, give a week or more of bloom and year round color. Ferns are a welcome addition to the shade garden since they offer a variety of form, texture and shades of green with the fiddleheads in the spring providing added interest. A number are evergreen. If you have trouble growing grass, consider a moss lawn.

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