The Q&A Archives: Tall Shady Flowers

Question: I have a patio in an inner courtyard of an apartment complex. It is ringed with a 3ft high walled garden area. There is one spot between 2 trees (approximately 3-5 ft by 4ft) that is bare that i would like to fill to block prying eyes.

It's a fairly shady location, although it gets some heavily dappled afternoon sun. I really like flowers and would prefer to fill that area with tall heavy bloomers that I can cut. Of course I'd like them to be easy to grow, as I am a very novice gardener!

Answer: There are a number of shade-tolerant plants with flowers suitable for cutting. Aconitum (Monk's Hood), Campanula (bellflower), Kaffir lily, Digitalis (foxglove), Dicentra (bleeding heart), Astilbe, Francoa (Maiden's wreath), Saxifraga and Tradescantia are some easy to grow favorites. For privacy consider Elephant's ears (no blooms).

To give your new plants the right start be sure to amend the planting area with organic matter (compost or leaf mold) to help the soil drain well yet retain just the right amount of moisture. Enjoy your new shade garden!

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