Garden in the shade: which plants to choose? Our selection of 12 plants!

There are a multitude of plants and shrubs that prefer not to experience full sun. They are therefore perfectly adapted to shady areas where they can benefit from a certain freshness. Here is a selection of 12 plants capable of enhancing a garden in the shade thanks to their spectacular flowers and/or their graphic and decorative foliage. They are absolutely perfect for bringing a note of gaiety to a somewhat dark outdoor space.

Le Cœur de Marie (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, anciennement Dicentra spectabilis)

This ornamental perennial plant of the family of Fumariaceae and kind Dicentra is a true work of art with its long arching stems which, from the end of April until August, proudly carry around twenty beautiful heart-shaped flowers, evoking pretty lanterns with fuchsia pink, white, red or two-tone petals, depending on the variety and cultivar. The icing on the cake, this plant, also called Cœur-Bleeding or Cœur-de-Jeannette, has elegantly cut, very decorative foliage of a fairly bright bluish green. The Heart of Mary is ideal in shady massif or in undergrowthwhere the ground retains a certain coolness.

Le Coléus (Solenostemon scutellaroides)

It is a plant of the family of Lamiaceaewhich brings a spectacular note in the shaded garden thanks to its ultra colorful decorative foliage. The oval leaves with downy undersides are nicely serrated. It is interesting to associate different coleus with multiple colors of fire, for a surprisingly colorful effect. But beware, this plant is a chilly plant that does not tolerate temperatures below -5°C. In many regions, it is therefore grown as an annual.

Note that the Coleus does not support direct sunlight during the hottest hours. It should be planted in a area where the sun is subdued but where the luminosity is sufficient so that the colors of its foliage are most intense.

Japanese Azalea (Azalea japonica)

Here is a nice one evergreen shrub and with a carpeting habit of the family of Ericaceae and kind Rhododendron. This Azalea thrives in a fairly cool heathland. Its effect is spectacular when its multiple trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in spring, which come in a wide range of colors, mauve, white, pale pink, fuchsia, red. The Japanese Azalea does wonders in the middle of a shady lawn.

The Camellia (Camellia)

It is a shrub of the genus Camellia and the family of Theaceae. There are at least 200 species. Depending on the case, camellias bloom at different times of the year. We can therefore take advantage of their flowering in winteror in springeven until august if we plant Camellia azalea. With their big flowers red, pink, white, plain or variegated, these shrubs which appreciate gardens in the shade are superb isolated or in groups, all the more so if they are planted in a non-calcareous growing medium, amended in heather soil to be sufficiently acidic and rich in organic matter.

The soil must also be airy, soft, and sufficiently moist. Camellias need to have a excellent quality soil to keep shiny foliage and bloom abundantly.

Epimedium (Emimedium alpinum)

Epimedium belongs to the family of Berberidaceae and gender Epimedium. This perennial herb with rhizome for semi-shaded corner is nicely nicknamed Flower of the Elves. This ground cover plant honors the spring of its flowering in delicious colors, purple, violet, pink, orange, yellow, white or green, and in autumn, its deciduous or evergreen foliage, depending on the variety, takes over with its very shimmering colours. With the Epimede, it’s a real fireworks which illuminates the shaded areas of the garden.

Behind a look full of delicacy hides a unfailing robustnessthe Epimedium being able to withstand extreme cold such as scorching temperatures without batting an eyelid.

The rampant bugle (Ajuga Reptans)

This shade perennial has stolons thanks to which it can spread quickly to form a decorative carpet thanks to its evergreen composed of leaves in a rosette of a superb purple blue. In addition, from late April to July, the Creeping Bugle produces pretty ears about fifteen centimeters in height, composed of small flowers of a purplish blue. It is an easy-to-grow plant that can be planted in the shade, in cool soil, whether at the foot of trees, in a rockery or in a flower bed.

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

This shrub plant of the family of Hydrangeaceae is wanted for its sumptuous inflorescences which bloom with exuberance from June until September. Easy to cultivate, the Hydrangea is planted in topsoil to which we add a little heather soil. The blue color of its flowers is obtained only if the soil is acidic. However, the plant should not be installed in pure heather soil. The Hydrangea is perfect for illuminating shady corners. It is used in beds, along the path or in a hedge and even in containers on terraces or balconies with little sunlight.

The Purple Cyclamen (Cyclamen purpurascens)

This perennial plant with tuber of the family of Primulaceae is also called Cyclamen d’Europe. This Cyclamen blooms from January to April et September to December depending on the region. Its flowers give off a subtle scent of lily of the valley and come in purplish or purple colours. His evergreen is made up of leathery, heart-shaped leaves with attractive mottling on top and red undersides. We install it in partial shade, in fresh soil, in the ground or in a planter. The purple Cyclamen brightens up rockeries, beds, the base of shrubs and window sills…

The heathers

It exists more than 800 species of heatherplants belonging to the family of Ericaceae. They are ideal for a semi-shaded exposure. Heathers quickly form veritable ultra colorful cushions as soon as they are planted in a acid and cool soil. The earth of heather is their predilection. Their multiple flowers can be red, purple, pink, white, and their foliage also comes in a wide range of tones from gold to silver, from green to blue-gray through yellow.

We do not hesitate to combine different heathers in order to obtain a splendid result, because by varying the species, we take advantage of a staggering of the flowering throughout the year and we can easily vegetate in beauty massifs, rockeries, embankments, and even a terrace with shade because some heaths lend themselves to growing in pots or planters.

Periwinkle (Vinca)

Periwinkles, from the family of Apocynaceaeare evergreen perennials who bloom generously from early spring. Wanted for their unique blue flowers, periwinkles are splendid ground covers which, for several years, have been offered by garden centers in other equally shimmering colours. All are creeping stems well suited to a shade garden. They divinely dress the low walls, the massifs, the rockeries which are sorely lacking in sunshine and other more or less dark corners. They form a happy marriage with the Ivy.

Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

This variety of Jasmine is a climbing shrub of the family of Oleaceae who is covered in the middle of winter with golden yellow flowers, small trumpets that last until March. Flowering therefore appears well before the foliage. We love his port of great elegance and the profusion of sun-coloured flowers that brighten up shady gardens while nature is still at rest. It is planted at the foot of a wall, a pergola, a balustrade or a trellis. After some time, the Winter Jasmine forms a cascade of flowers and dresses its support in a very pretty way.

Sweet Woodruff (Gallium scented)

It is also called Gallet odorant, Ladies lily of the valley, little thrush or queen of the woods. This herbaceous plant belongs to the family of Rubiaceae. It has evergreen foliage and produces starry flowers grouped in umbelliform cymes, of a pristine white, very fragrant, between mid-April and the end of June depending on the climate. This undergrowth plant capable of withstanding temperatures down to -15°C must be installed in partial shade and even in the shade.

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