Color in the Shade
July 9, 2016
Sometimes gardeners struggle to produce bright summer color in the shade. Let’s take a look at a couple of different options that provide great color and interesting texture in the shady part of your landscape. Today Southern Gardening is at the Mississippi State Trial Gardens in Starkville looking for shady summer color, and I believe we’ve found it. I have to admit one summer annual I miss are impatiens, even in the shade our hot and humid summers are not ideal conditions. But I’m excited about a new group for the deep landscape shade called Big Bounce impatiens hitting the market. Big Bounce is available in a variety of colors such as pink, red, lilac and pink flame will produce masses of beautiful flowers from spring to frost. But be aware, Big Bounce has a strong need for consistent watering during the summer heat. Now another choice for the gardener interested in planting a perennial in the partial to full shade is Heuchera. The individual plants form clumps having scalloped, heart-shape leaves which are veined and can be prominently mottled. There are a wide variety of foliage colors available including Georgia Peach, Lime Ruffles and Obsidian. In spring to early summer, long, erect flower spikes of tiny, bell-shaped flowers rise as high as 10 inches above the leaves where they remain for weeks. Heuchera are drought tolerant, but in Mississippi drought tolerant perennial plants will benefit greatly from having consistent moisture. I hope you can see there are plenty of options to consider for the deep shade in the landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.