Create a masterpiece in your shady garden spot: flowering shade plants make a delightful spot in summer’s heat!
Many gardeners bemoan that shady part of the garden due to tree branches and leaves, believing that nothing will really thrive in such a sunless environment. This is a myth. There are literally thousands of flowering shade plants you can use to brighten up any shady corner, creating a lovely summer retreat where you can kick back with a book and a tall glass of lemonade, enjoying both the restful moments and the spectacular view. Let’s see how this might be accomplished without trimming your trees.
Using flowering shade plants to create your masterpiece garden may take more than one season, especially when planting perennials and plants that bloom at different seasons. However, the effort will be well worth your time. After all, you probably haven’t been making the best use of the areas under tree shade now is your chance to make that spot ready for House & Gardens!
You’ll want to map out your area, measuring as closely as possible, noting pathways, tree drip lines and the like. Decide what types of plants you want there and give some consideration to color schemes. Next, give Google a whirl with an image inquiry on flowering shade plants. This is a quick way for you to determine flower shapes, plant heights, flowering seasons and colors that suit you while factoring in what tree growth will happen with over hanging limbs. Remember that different plants may require an acid or alkaline soil. Many do enjoy a more acid environment, as is found in woodland, shaded areas and especially under pine trees. Copy images of those you find pleasing, or just jot down a few notes on each plant, growth habit, flower color and whether it is an annual or perennial.
Many shade gardens benefit from plantings of various heights and seasonality, resulting in a more diverse landscape. Remember, too, that bulbs may be effectively integrated such that when a spring or fall-blooming bulb is spent, another of your shade flowering plants is ready to fill the gap.
Before making your purchases, check with your local nursery to be sure your choices are hardy to your growing region. Below, we’ve identified some lovely shade bloomers to get your imagination going. A few of our recommendations are not actually flowering shade plants, but have foliage that is so colorful in every season, they provide that color you’re looking for under your existing stand of trees.
For late winter and early spring color, Helleborus, also known as Christmas Rose, provides a lovely deer proof ground cover for tree shaded areas. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are spectacular early to mid-spring blooming shrubs, most commonly found in white and a variety of pink shades, with large, glossy leaves that really make a statement. Consider dogwood trees for a romantic springtime touch, under-planted with early winter-blooming crocus. Hyacinths make a beautiful, early flowering border or equally eye-catching potted display. Lilac is found in both lilac and white flowering, shrubbing plants that make a nice backdrop for shorter plants that flower later in the season, such as anemones, bellflowers, wind flowers, impatiens and lobelia. For spring to summer color, Clematis comes in white, blues and purples. Grow this garden lovely as a vining shrub. Hypericum, with its star-shaped yellow flowers and low-growing mounding habit, blooms from spring throughout the summer and is useful as a border or on slightly sloping areas with modest tree shade, a true star among the choices. The large-leaved, tall Cimicifuga is a deciduous perennial with showy white flowers in blooming in mid to late summer. Shade flowering plants which may be grown as hanging, potted plants include the begonias, fuchsia, Swedish ivy and cyclamen, perfect for a shady porch or entry area. Happily, all of these are perennial. The Swedish ivy, brought in as a houseplant when the days become shorter, can extend its flowering period into mid-winter even after most of your tree leaves have fallen! The popular wishbone flower is a good container or hanging plant which attracts hummingbirds as an added bonus.
It’s easy to see that there’s no shortage of plants you can use under the shade of your trees! Create that oasis of tree shade you’ve been yearning for. Be sure to make space for that lounge chair. All you need do is then, enjoy!