Welcome back to part 2 of my favorite flowers for this spring and summer. This time I am sharing my shade plant combinations. See part 1 here.

I have a lot of shade in my gardens. So I’ve had to experiment with several different shade plants. Mostly, I’ve had success but there have been a few duds.

This graphic below was made to pin for Pinterest. I love to share my flowers with anyone who will come and look at them and I’ve found Pinterest is my biggest source of traffic. If I can help anyone find plants that will do well for them, all the better.

shade plant combinations

My front yard, for the most part, is under mature tree canopy. However since the tree incident, I get a little bit of more sun now in this area where the red coleus is. Even without the hour or so of sun, coleus plants are famous for loving the shade and I’m a sucker for that red.

You probably already know coleus come in a multitude of color combinations and leaf shapes.

red coleus shade plants

Another favorite shady area combination is this ostrich fern in the blue pot with hostas in front and a mature lacecap hydrangea along side of it. Isn’t it lush looking? I love it. In my zone 6b, everything here comes back year after year.

beautiful shade combination

So this hydrangea needed a spotlight all its own. Just look at that beauty! I pruned it back some last year. This shrub is several years old. The flowers start out as a blue, then fade to pink and finally lose most of their color. I think it’s just so pretty but it’s taking over.

lacecap hydrangea

Here’s a close up of the gorgeous blooms.

close up of lacecap hydrangea

These window boxes have had all different types of plants in them from impatiens to vinca vine and ivy, just all kinds. I’ve had different outcomes with each.

But I’ve found the best plants for these shallow boxes that get about an hour or less of sun in the morning are houseplants. It also gets dried out a little too often because it’s so shallow.

This year and last year I’ve used these different colored wandering jews and they’ve worked fabulously. They’ve filled out even more and have grown longer since I took this photo. There is also a little bit of ivy in the mix.

I’ve also used polka dot plants with great success. This area is dark, so the variegated ones really pop.

wandering jew window box

Along the front of my house is my largest shade bed. I have hostas and heuchera (coral bells) front and center. In the back is boxwood, which is doing great. I even have a daylily on the corner and it does bloom, just not profusely.

I almost forgot, if you look closely in the right hand corner is astilbe which has beautiful red plumes when it blooms. This photo was taken in May, so everything is bigger and more filled out now.

hostas for shade

Oh and this… oh my this. A pot full of caladiums on the front porch. *swoon*  Aren’t they just gorgeous? They are reaching for the sun from here but as long as I keep the pot turned they don’t stretch too bad.

Caladium bulbs have to be dug up and stored each fall (in my zone), but they are worth it as you can see.

pot full of caladiums

Shade Plant Combinations

Here’s another shady landscape flower bed. I’ve got lots of ostrich ferns that have spread and a few heucheras (coral bells). Also hostas in the back and a Sarah Bernhardt peony in the front left.

The large light green hosta is “Sum and Substance”. It’s a monster and huge. I can’t remember the name of the other variegated one. A friend shared them and the ferns with me so I call this bed the friendship garden.

In the top right hand corner there is a beautiful landscape plant called Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ and if you can find it and have the space, get this plant!

It starts out as this bright acid green that looks so great against my dark mulch. It does fade to a nice yellow green as it grows and then it dies completely back to the ground in the winter.

I just love all the different greens in this garden.

shady landscape flower bed

Lastly, I’ve got hardy geranium peppered around my shady landscape. I love the charming shape of their leaves as much as the dark lavender flowers. Some years are better than others for this plant.

I like this pairing of the hostas and hardy geranium but I’ll have to pluck out the hostas because they get large and take over. These are volunteers.

The shot of red in the back is a sunpatien which by the way grows just as good in the shade.

See my little bunny peeking out? I have lots of these little rascals only they’re real in my yard this year. And they are multiplying like well… bunnies!

hardy geranium

I’ve got more to share but I’ll save it for the next post. More flowers in the sun and of course my Studio Gardens! Come back soon.

paintings by Jaime Haney of New Harmony, Indiana

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.

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