Answer: There are many perennials to grow in a shady area. Although hostas are considered primarily foliage plants due to the wide variety of colorful foliage in different shapes and sizes, they also bloom and some have a good fragrance, too. Ferns make a nice complement to hostas and add additional all season interest and variety. Astilbes are often listed as shade plants, but will need some sun during the day to bloom their best. In addition to those "big three" perennials for shade, you might consider pulmonaria, lily of the valley, bleeding heart, Japanese anemone, tricyrtis, iris cristata, lamium, epimedium, phlox stolonifera, Solomon's seal, and tiarella. There are also many woodland natives such as Virginia Bluebells that will thrive in the shady garden in a soil that is humusy and evenly moist yet well drained. Have fun experimenting!
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