Don't overlook the shady areas of your yard when planting a garden. With all the varieties of shade plants available--with and without blooms--those dark, forgotten recesses of landscape can become a lush garden. Alternating foliage color and height brings any area to life with a little foresight and planning.
The top slot of the shade-loving plant list belongs to hostas. Whether you choose variegated specimens or solid color varieties, the lush foliage adds an accent to other flowering shade plants. The highlight of the growing season is the subtle hues of blue and pink that bloom on stately spikes in the middle of summer. Other flowering perennials that thrive in a shade garden include lumbago and lily of the valley. The white, bell-shaped flowers produced by the lily of the valley provide a delicate fragrance. Lumbago offers a cluster of five-petal blooms in blue.
Coleus plants are notable for the vibrant colors of the foliage. Each growing season, the coleus plant starts out as a small, indistinct spot of color in the shady landscape. By the end of the season, the vivid splash of color reins supreme in mounds of lush foliage, adding interest to your shade garden. If you are looking for colorful flowers to grow in the shade, impatiens fit the bill. A mass of red impatiens around the base of a tree or beside the house provides quite a show. The color varieties available range from pure white to red and pink tones. Variegated hybrids also do well in shade gardens.
Foxglove can grow 3 to 4 feet high, and the center stalk produces vibrant blooms infused with shades of yellow, pink, purple and blue. A word of caution about the foxglove: all parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. Keep children and pets away from the shade garden if you choose to grow foxglove.