The Q&A Archives: Shaded Courtyard Needs Flowers Year Round

Question: I am planting a flower garden in a shaded courtyard. I want very low maintenance and the plants flower on their own every year. Water is on a timer. there is ornamental bark covering the ground. What plants do you have for me and may I use a weed control pre-emergent in the Spring?

Answer: Pre-emergent herbicides can be used in flower beds; read the label and be sure you get the right formula for the kinds of plants you have. (Some are for use only in woody ornamental beds, others are safe for the more tender herbaceous plants.) It can be difficult to find flowering perennials for a shady spot, but here's a list for you to choose from:
Ajuga, Alchemillia (lady's mantle), Anemone (windflower), Columbine, Asarum (wild ginger), Astilbe, Bergenia, Amethyst, Campanula, Cyclamen, Dicentra, Gentian, Helleborus, Hosta, Heucherella, Impatiens, Liriope (lily turf), Asiatic lily, Vinca, Viola, Primrose and Saxifraga. Good luck with your shade garden!

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