Who says there’s not much choice in shade-loving plants?
Well, maybe choices are a little more limited than in the thousands of sun-lovers but really, if one does a little research, there are many out there that thrive or survive in shade or partial shade.
Here are a few examples:
• Old-fashion bleeding heart — It is always a favorite because they are one of the first to bloom in spring; rose/pink and white blooms on delicate arching stems make them a stand-out. Usual height is around 2 to 3 feet with widths about the same. Because they have been around since older generations, many of us seasoned gardeners are well aware of their open structure and abundant flowering.
• Astilbe — This is a well-tried first in any garden and was probably one of the very first in my garden when I moved to the Goshen area in 1977. Colors, sizes and pattern variations make them a must. While they grow nicely in a sunny spot they will be comfortable in filtered sun/shade as well. Colors run the gamut so expression is easily accomplished.
• Heuchera — This old standby is also one of the first to incorporate in your shade-garden. This amazing plant is admired not only for its colorful blooms on stiff tendrils but for its amazingly colorful foliage. This plant has, in the last two decades or more, undergone major hybridizing to increase not only foliage colors but also their textures.
Most gardeners are very familiar with the older versions of Heuchera that occupy many gardens that have green foliage with brilliant red flower spikes. They were almost standard at any home. While they are still valued, they have given way in recent years to the many newer varieties that sport newer and more interesting foliage and flower colors.
• Hostas — These are a must in any shade garden. The color variations, leaf sizes, leaf variations and flower colors are endless, so the world is your oyster (so-to-speak) in availability. I once had a paperback publication that had literally thousands to choose from.
• Meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum) — As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, this is my all-time favorite and is a perfect specimen for shade. You’ll love its open growth habit with spider-like stemming but you’ll fall in love more with the tiny cerulean blue flowers with lemon-yellow stamens.
• Ajuga — Ajuga does well in filtered light and there are several to choose from. Foliage colors range from solid purple to mottled green/purple. Colorful purple spikes grow from 6 to 12 inches and they, too, vary in various shades of purple. This is a perfect combination plant with candytuft. The white against the purple is most pleasing.
• Anemone — This is perfect in a tree line where filtered light will make it right at home. Give them an ample amount of water and mulch them heavily for overwintering. They can be a little touchy so make sure proper winter care is followed.
• Primrose — Always a welcome sight, primrose is one of the earliest plants to bloom in the spring. It is winter-hardy with proper mulching. These beauties are one of the most interesting shade-lovers in the garden and have the most outstanding blossom color variations of any plant in the garden. They were always prized while perusing the many perennials at the garden center because they were always in full bloom when placed on the shelves.
These represent only a handful of all that are available but can give you a good start.
Of course, there are many annuals as well that will thrive in the shade — impatiens being the most prominent with colors roaming the whole spectrum.
Who says there’s not much choice in shade-loving plants?
THE PLAIN SIDE:Government reflects us
Driver Ken said it game him goose bumps. I can see why. We are standing in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This is the room where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the aged Benjamin Franklin, and all those other founding fathers stood. All at once.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: Aug. 23, 2014 Gordon Jensen, international evangelist, gospel singer and songwriter, will be at Northwood Chapel Aug. 24. He will sing and preach at the 11 a.m. worship service and again at the 6 p.m. evening service. Jensen has written songs such as “Redemption Draweth Nigh,” “He’s as Close as The Mention Of His Name” and “Written In Red.” The church is located at 28220 C.R. 52, Nappanee, one mile north of Nappanee on Ind. 19 and 1/4 mile west on C.R. 52. Those with questions may call 773-3509 or 773-7895.
- GLOBAL FAITHS: Syria tops list of Christian martyrdom in Pew study Last week’s Global Faiths column discussed the world’s most “church destroying” countries. It invites a look at those countries of the world where it’s hardest to be a Christian. The countries on these two lists are not the same, though the lists may overlap. “The top 10 nations ‘where Christians faced the most pressure and violence [in 2013] were North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen’” (www.Christianity today.com/gleanings). North Korea has the dubious distinction of remaining at the top of this list for 10 years now.
- PASTOR'S PEN: How was the soul of America's funny man? Goodbye Robin Williams. Are you kiddin’ me!? I grew up on Mork and Mindy! I had never laughed before at the things Robin Williams made me laugh about. That’s because there had never been one like him before. As the old Rod Stewart song goes, his “ad-lib lines were well rehearsed.”
- CLUB NEWS Goshen Noon Kiwanis Meeting date: Aug. 19 Awards/recognition: Ron Altenhof and Hugh Reinhold, greeters; John Huber, song leader; Ron Schultz, pledge; Bryan Mierau, invocation; Angela Black, guest. Perfect attendance award winners were Tim Doyle, 25 y
- Briefly GOSHEN 99th birthday open house today Ruby Evelyn (Deafenbaugh) Bryant of Goshen will celebrate her 99th birthday at an open house today at the Bryant homestead from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Family and friends are invited to attend. She was born in Claypool, A
- PUBLIC RECORD Marriage license The following marriage licenses were filed in Elkhart County: Trevor J. Milliken, 22, and Emily A. Wagoner, 22, both of 71074 Conrad Road, Niles, Mich. Zachary M. Cox, 25, and Mashala K. Short, 21, both of 487 Brookside Manor, Goshen
- Lifelong Learning fall courses announced GOSHEN — The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is offering fall courses. These short courses are designed to provide stimulating and affordable classes in many fields for active seniors. There are no tests or grades, and no previous studies or degrees are required.
- LaGrange County youth finish well at tractor contest LAGRANGE — With all of its four contestants delivering competitive performances, the LaGrange County 4-H Tractor program continued its tradition of achievement in the annual Purdue Area XI 4-H Tractor Contest July 26 at the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds.
- CORRECTION: Outdoor worship, barbecue at Goshen Christian Reformed Church not happening It was incorrectly reported in Wednesday's edition — the Briefly column on A3 — that Goshen Christian Reformed Church was to have an outdoor worship service and barbecue Thursday through Saturday. The event was submitted by a church with the same nam
- More Life Headlines
- THE PLAIN SIDE:Government reflects us