Lighten Up! Brightening and enlivening the shade garden

Hosta and ferns are standards for the perennial shade garden. They have similar growing condition requirements and the contrast of fine-textured fronds and broad Hosta leaves does bring dimension and quiet contrast. All well and good for a supremely serene retreat, but what if you’d like to energize your shadowy shade realm a bit?

Instead of just adding in flowering shade-annuals, consider other shade-perennial options. These include grassy plants that enliven with their fountains of vertical form and illuminate with foliage that is crisply variegated or golden yellow. There are also flowering perennials for shade that brighten with light-colored blooms at
various times, throughout the season.

Garden ornamentation can also serve well in shade. Silvery gazing balls, strings of tiny mirrors and even full-sized mirrors bring light, allure and mystery to dim garden patches. A white or pastel colored chair, trellis or section of picket fence can really set off surrounding plants and bring a sense of welcome. To get a bit more whimsical in your shade perk-up; use silver or white china tea sets, white enamelware or other light-colored treasures needing new life! Hang them, perch them or nestle them amongst the plants!

Shade brightening grasses:

  • Carex
  • Acorus
  • Hakone Grass
  • Shade brightening Blooms
  • Pulmonaria
  • Turtlehead
  • Fall Anemone
  • Brunnera
  • Coral Bells
  • Hellebore

Shade brightening Décor

  • Mirror hung on a tree, fence or trellis
  • White/Pastel chair, bench, statuary
  • Tiny mirrors strung from trees
  • Silver gazing balls
  • China, teapots, white enamelware
  • Section of white fence or trellis as backdrop
  • Stainless steel cutlery chime or mobile
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