Finally, after a week of oppressive heat and humidity, Mother Nature has offered us a break.  If Summer temperatures would simply hover around 75 degrees, I wouldn’t detest the season as I much as I do, but Summer is a fickle season, much like the other three.

When the heat, humidity and heat index are working together to make me miserable, I often don’t leave the comfort of A/C for long, but when I have to, I go running for any shade that is offered me.  Ah, relief.  Contrary to humans, many plants don’t care for the shade or at least aren’t able to tolerate it on a consistent basis.  Additionally, when we think of shade plants, we tend to think dull, lackluster and green.  Lots of green, but this doesn’t have to be the case.  There are quite a few plants that will add splashes of color, texture and interest to your most shaded corners of the garden.  Below is a small offering of shade loving perennials:

Ligularia Britt-Marie Crawford

A unique and brazen perennial with large, maroon-black leaves with bright golden daisy-like flowers atop a long stem.  They bloom in late Summer to early Fall, and their flowers and leaves are great for cutting.

Raspberry Splash Lungwort

Silver blotched foliage with blooms that emerge a pinkish-red then turn to a purplish-blue as they age.  They bloom in late summer and prefer moist, well-drained soil.

Georgia Peach Alumroot

Foliage changes from a peachy-orange with a dusting of white in Spring to a rosy hue in Summer and then finally a rosy-purple in Fall.  Stunning color remains throughout winter adding interest to your garden.

Variegated Siberian Bugloss

Hosta like leaves with white edges and blue forget-me-not-type flowers that bloom in Spring.  Prefers moist, well-drained soil.

When choosing shade perennials, It’s important to consider more than just the color and look of the flower.  After all, most flowers don’t last long.  You need to pay attention to the foliage as well, and the overall look, color, texture, contrast and interest the perennial will provide.  Don’t give up on your shaded spaces and write them off.  Consider adding a few of the above, and you’ll never look at the shade quite the same way again.  In fact, you’ll have some colorful company to sit amongst and enjoy the cool together.

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

Jane Austen

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney