Shade-Loving Perennials That Bloom All Summer
It's a misconception that flowers require sun to thrive, as there are several species that prefer the shade. Turn that shady spot in your yard into an easy-to-care-for garden bursting with color all summer long by filling it with perennial flowers that bloom throughout the entire summer season.
Endless Summer Hydrangea
Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub that does well when planted in partial shade. It is best known for its large showy blooms and green, leathery leaves. There are several hydrangea cultivators and all have a summer bloom time; however, the Endless Summer variety were bred to provide blooms throughout the entire length of the summer season. Both mophead and lacecap varieties of flowers are produced by this cultivator. As with all hydrangeas, the flowers of these plants change colors based on the type of soil they are planted in -- pink blooms occurs in acidic soil, while blue blooms result in soil that has high levels of aluminum. To prevent wilting, they require a sufficient amount of water and well draining soil.
Coral bells are planted primarily for their showy foliage, which adds color and texture to a shady area throughout the summer season. The foliage of these plants grow in mounds and are softly ridged around the edges. The leaves vary in color, depending on the cultivator -- common colors include purple, black, green and copper and some are even variegated. In addition to the showy foliage, coral bells also produce stalks of flowers that add to their display. The stalks emerge from the center of the plant and contain upwards of 30 branches. Each branch of the stalk grows about a dozen or so bell-shaped flowers -- hence the name coral bells. The flowers grow in various colors, including pink, coral, red and greenish-white. An added bonus to some species of coral bells is that the leaves persist during the winter season. They require moist, well-drained soil to thrive.
Like coral bells, hostas are also grown primarily for their eye-catching foliage. The leaves of these plants grow in mounds, have smooth edges and have a rounded tip. The size of the plant depends on the cultivator -- some may only grow as wide as a few inches, while others can spread out as wide as 8 feet. The leaf color also depends on the cultivator. Common colors include emerald green, yellowish-green and bluish-green, while some are two-toned in color; green and white, for example. The foliage of the plant lasts throughout the summer season. In the early to mid-summer, spikes of flowers grow from the middle of the plant. These flowers resemble miniature lilies and can be white or lavender in color. Hostas will thrive if planted in partial shade an in moist, well draining soil.
Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.