The Q&A Archives: Plants For A Shady Garden In Vermont

Question: We live in Vermont, and we would like to start a small garden behind our condo. We get very limited sunlight in this area, approx. 2 hours per day. Can you suggest some plants, either annuals or perennials, that would be appropriate for this setting?

Answer: First of all, be sure to prepare the soil by adding lots of organic matter such as compost. You have quite a number of shade-loving plants to choose from; I'll list a few:

Perennials: Astilbe, bleeding heart, Japanese painted fern, lobelia 'Ruby Slipper', pulmonaria 'Raspberry Splash', and hosta top the list; they all tolerate fairly deep shade. Plants that thrive in partial shade include columbine, daylilies, foxglove, and heuchera -- you might choose one or more of these for the sunniest spot.

Your best bets for annuals are impatiens, primrose, coleus, and torenia.

Good luck!

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