Answer: Hostas, of course, give you lots of ways of adding color to a shady area because of their colored leaves, but so do the Heucheras, or Coral Bells. There?s a nearly black leafed one called Heuchera ?Obsidian? that I use a lot, and another called ?Caramel? that looks great with it. I am also very fond of the Variegated Solomon?s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ssp Variegatum). It has a gorgeous arching habit and great leaves. There?s also a Jacob?s Ladder called Stairway to Heaven with variegated leaves and little blue flowers in spring. There are a few kinds of Bleeding Hearts, too, and they?re great in shade. The most common is Dicentra spectabilis, which has larger flowers and a larger size, but goes dormant after it blooms. There?s also the wild Bleeding Heart, Dicentra eximia, which continues blooming all summer. The Astilbes also tolerate moist soils and come in a lot of colors and sizes.
You can add a few shade loving annuals to brighten things up and stick a few ferns in, as well. Good luck with your shade garden.
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