Your yard, or specific areas in your yard, can be shady for many reasons. Perhaps you have a northern exposure, or there are trees or buildings that block the sun. In some cases, a large overhang or outdoor garden structure might create shade. Many gardeners bemoan the shady areas in their yard, believing that these spots cannot be as beautiful as a sunny area. Nothing could be further from the truth. Flowering plants that thrive in shady areas are plentiful.
There are many flowering evergreen and deciduous shrubs that can add seasonal color to shady spots. Azaleas, rhododendron and camellias are among the showiest evergreen shrubs. If you're looking for a colorful deciduous flowering shrub, hydrangeas are a good choice, and Winter Jasmine is another lovely deciduous shrub that provides large, colorful flowers at a time of year when few plants blossom.
Low growing groundcovers fill in areas around larger plants and help keep weeds down. As practical as they are, you don't need to sacrifice groundcover beauty to get the benefit of weed suppression. Sweet woodruff, pachysandra, evergreen candytuft and Vinca minor are just a few of the many flowering groundcovers available. Vinca minor, often called periwinkle, grows particularly well under trees.
The flowering dogwood is one of the most popular shade-loving trees available, and for good reason. Each spring, it provides a riot of early color when it blooms. In addition, dogwoods are resilient trees that are drought tolerant and do not require a lot of care. They are not your only, or most beautiful choice, though. If delicate white blossoms, an unusual leaf shape and attractive fall seedpods appeal to you, try a Silverbell tree. Other beautiful and interesting choices include the Fringe tree, the Japanese Snowbell tree, and the Sourwood Shade tree, an especially good choice if you appreciate fragrant spring blossoms and beautiful leaves in the fall.
Annuals and Perennials
If you want to brighten up the shady areas of your yard with some low-growing annuals, Impatiens are an elegant choice, available in almost every color of the rainbow. If you're preference runs to flowers that return year after year on their own, foxglove, begonias and pansies make excellent perennial flower choices. Many flowering bulbs also enjoy shade, especially Calla, Madonna and Surprise lilies. Gladiola also do well in shade, and crocus and daffodil bulbs will brighten up your shady areas with their early blooms well before most other flowering plants.