I cannot tell you how often I hear people say that they would love to have a beautiful garden but all they have is shade. My suggestion is always the same - add height, texture, movement, and stronger variations of leaf color. Trust me, with a few new additions, you will never see shade as a dark, lifeless place again.
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Virginia Bluebells, a native plant, are ephemeral, in other words they die back to the ground once blooming has finished and remain dormant until the following year when they will pop back up again in early spring. Over time they will multiply, eventually forming large colonies if left undisturbed. Like their name implies, the blooms are shaped like little bells, emerging dark pink that quickly age to pale blue. Deer tend to leave them alone, and other than needing well-drained soil, there’s really nothing you’ll need to do for them.
Dianthus, commonly known as pinks or carnations, are fragrant additions to your sunny garden, with a scent reminiscent of cloves. Offered in both our perennial and annual departments, dianthus flower in shades of white, pink and red. Bloom is heaviest through June, then it tapers off in the heat of summer, returning in autumn on some varieties. The blue foliage on many of the dianthus is attractive in its own right. Dianthus perform best in well-drained soil.
Fill your gardens and planters! These little gems will just thrive on our warm days and cool nights. Should we encounter a cold night with frost, don’t worry. These plants are hardy. Should they get nipped, a new set of buds will soon take their place and spring anew.
Snapdragons are whimsical flowers. If you gently push on the sides of a flower the dragon’s mouth will open to reveal his teeth, but he won’t bite. Use Snapdragons in the spring garden or planters. They love the cooler weather and flourish amid pansies, dusty miller and alyssum. Pinch off faded blooms to encourage new ones.
Loving the cool spring weather, English Daisies with their low, compact foliage are perfect for planters and garden borders alone or mixed with spring flowers such as pansies, alyssum and snapdragons. The 2-inch flowers (borne on stems 4-6 inches tall) have a yellow center surounded by fringed petals in white and shades of pink.