Shrubs/flowering shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

everett, Ma
Question by kimcurriept
April 14, 2010
We live in Mass. and are trying to landscape our front yard. We have a section around the house that gets min to no sun, and are looking for ideas for what will do best and is easy to take care of. Any ideas? thanks Kim

Answer from NGA
April 14, 2010


There are a handful of flowering shrubs that do well in shade: Camellia japonica and C. sasanqua. Camellias are evergreen and there are many flower colors and forms from which to choose.

Hydrangea macrophylla ? Gorgeous ball-shaped clusters of flowers throughout the summer months and attractive winter seedheads make hydrangea shrubs a great addition to a shady garden. Hydrangea cultivars are available from 4-12' tall and with flowers in pink, blue, white or other colors making them a flexible choice for a part-shade garden spot.

Kalmia latifolia, or Mountain laurel shrubs are beautiful woodland native shrubs that do very well in part shade or dappled shade gardens. Broadleaf evergreen foliage and attractive late spring flowers are part of what this shade loving shrub has to offer.

Pieris japonica (Japanese pieris) is a beautiful broadleaf evergreen shrub that grows about 9-12' tall and produces beautiful, flower clusters that give a weeping, drooping look to the garden. Like many woodland shrubs, the Japanese pieris grows best in slightly acidic soil with good drainage.

Abelia x grandiflora ? Abelia shrubs tolerate part shade and are excellent landscape shrubs that have attractive summer blooms and many forms have beautiful fall color. Shade tolerant and attractive, abelias are semi-evergreen shrubs in southern climate zones but may die back in zero degrees winter weather. Either way, abelias make attractive landscape shrubs and are nice for part shade foundation plantings.

Some great perennials for shade include Aegopodium p. 'Variegatum' (Bishop's Weed) which provides a dense carpet of green and white foliage; Ajuga varieties (Carpet Bugles): a low carpet of leaves, blue flower spikes; Asarum europeaum (European Wild Ginger) with polished, emerald-green leaves; Astilbe which has fluffy flower plumes and ferny leaves; Campanula carpatica (Carpathian Bellflower) has large blue saucer flowers, grows in low mounds; Carex morrowi 'Augeo-Variegata' Mounds of evergreen, yellow-striped leaves; Chrysogonum virginianum (Goldenstar) Long blooming with starry yellow flowers ; Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley) White, scented flowers; Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Hearts) Arches of heart-shaped flowers; Dicentra x 'Luxurient' (Bleeding Hearts) Low ferny carpet, cherry red flowers; Digitalis (Foxgloves) Tall spikes of spotted flowers; Doronicum cordatum (Leopard's Bane) Clean, yellow daisy flowers; Epimedium X rubrum Red-veined/margined leaves, red flowers; Hardy Ferns of all sorts A great diversity of leaf color and height; Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff) Carpets of cartwheel leaves, white flowers; Helleborus orientalis (Hellebore) Large, nodding flowers in early spring; Hosta 'August Moon' Crisp mound of bright yellow leaves; Hosta sieboldiana 'Frances Williams' Huge blue leaves edged in yellow; Hosta undulata 'Variegata' Clumps of wavy green and white leaves; Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride' Creeping carpet of silver-veined leaves; Lamium maculatum varieties Carpets of white or white striped leaves; Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona' Tall purple-leaved clump, orange flowers; Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea' Creeping mat of bright yellow leaves; Mentha requienii (Corsican mint) Strongly scented flat green mat. Self-seeds; Myosotis varieties (Forget-Me-Nots) Mists of small blue, yellow-eyed flowers; Primula X 'Wanda' Low mats smothered in magenta flowers; Pulmonaria varieties Mounds of silvery leaves, blue flowers. Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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