early-spring-blooming perennial that thrives in shade is Epimedium
rubrum. It forms a
compact clump of green, heart-shaped foliage. New leaves that emerge
in spring are tinged bronze. Flower stems 10 to 12 inches high carry
clusters of red, spider-shaped flowers. The flower stems rise through
the foliage in late April to early May. It grows well in dry shade,
which is a difficult area to grow plants. It stands just under a foot
tall and spreads to form a nice groundcover.
a doubt, the best summer-blooming perennial for shade is Ligularia
'The Rocket.' It grows in
the deepest, darkest shade there is. In my own garden, it's growing
on the north side of my potting shed under the shade of tall trees.
It never sees sun, but it's thriving and blooming. It forms a
two-foot-wide mound of interesting, triangular leaves. The leaves
have deeply-serrated edges, giving them a prehistoric look. In
summer, five-foot-tall deep purple flower stems rise through the
foliage and bear bright-yellow flowers. Ligularia 'Little Rocket' is
a size breakthrough in ligularia. It grows just two feet tall, with
the flowers, and has the same triangular leaves and wands of
bright-yellow flowers, just in a smaller version.
of the most common perennials for shade is hosta. It's a large group
of plants with a wide range of sizes, from miniatures that only grow
several inches wide and tall to large varieties that grow several
feet across or more. Hostas are grown mainly for their colorful
foliage. There's a wide range of leaf colors from dusty blue to
chartreuse. Many varieties have variegated foliage. A hosta I grow
more for its flowers than for its foliage is called August
lily. It bears six-inch-wide, tubular, white flowers in late
summer. The flowers are extremely fragrant, similar to freesia. It's
a medium-sized hosta growing two feet high and wide. It has
bright-green foliage and grows well in shade, as well as sun!
anemone 'Pamina' is a late-summer and early-autumn-blooming
perennial that grows well in shade. It's one of the best varieties of
Japanese anemone. It forms a handsome mound of foliage not quite two
feet tall - no staking required! Flower stems rise through the
foliage and stand three feet high. Dozens and dozens of flowers bloom
over a long period from early September right through frost. The
double flowers have many petals surrounding a central cluster of
orange stamens. Flower color is rosy lavender.
is one of the best ornamental grasses for shade. It forms a dense
mass of arching stems variegated with gold and white that really
brighten up a shady spot in the garden. All the stems arch downward
in the same direction, creating a flowing effect. Hakonechloa is a
dwarf ornamental grass, growing only about a foot and a half tall and
a couple of feet wide.