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GardenSMART :: Hardworking Plants For Shade

Hardworking Plants For Shade

By Jeff Gibson, Ball Horticultural Company
Photographs courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Don't let shady areas in your garden limit your wow factor. There are plenty of best-in-class plants you can select that offer bold, bright color. And don't just think "flowers" - foliage plants can have the same amount of impact that the big bloomers do.

Take a look at the combination of plants in the image below. Each of the components is a stellar shade-loving variety requiring very little maintenance, and the combination is sure to impress guests to your garden.

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There's no doubt about this combo's appeal! The big "filler" item here is Coleus Kong Jr. Scarlet from PanAmerican Seed. Its huge burgundy and lime foliage plays nicely with the other components in this large-size container, like Big Bounce Interspecific Impatiens from Selecta One. The Bounce Series have a high flower count, but are not true I. walleriana, so they are not susceptible to Impatiens downy mildew disease. The other trailing items in this combo are Begonia Dragon Wing Red and Lysimachia Goldilocks. These two make large planters look "finished" and complete when they spill over the sides. To top it off, a Juncus Blue Arrows stands tall and stately to give the whole look a bit of height and drama.

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Plant Information:

Kong Jr.™ Coleus
Height: 18-24 in.
Spread: 20-35 in.
Exposure: Shade, Partial Sun

'Goldilocks' Lysimachia (creeping Jenny)
Height: 2-4 in.
Spread: 12 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a - 10b
Exposure: Partial Sun, Sun

Big Bounce™ Interspecific Impatiens
Height: 20-30 in.
Spread: 20-36 in.
Exposure: Sun and Shade

Dragon Wing® Red Begonia
Height: 12-15 in.
Spread: 15-18 in.
Exposure: Partial Sun

Juncus Blue Arrows
Height: 36 in.
Spread: 12 in.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a - 9b
Exposure: Sun and Shade

Changing up the variety colors among any of these plants can give a different emotion in this shade combo design: Dragon Wing Pink can play off the blooms of Big Bounce Cherry. Those hues can also pick up the red center of Kong Jr. Rose, or go for contrast with Kong Jr. Green Halo.

While shade garden designs can be a challenge, the end result can still be sensational! Look for more shade-friendly varieties this spring and create a statement in your outdoor spaces.


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