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Fall is a great time to build new flower beds – you can plant perennials and let them get settled in. Closer to winter they will die back, only to reappear in the spring. They will grow and bloom in the spring, summer or fall, depending on the kind of perennial you choose.
You can build a flower bed for the sun or one for the shade. Here’s how we created a beautiful flower bed for the shade! And shade gardens are usually low maintenance, which is a bonus. If you’ve got a shady area, these plants will be perfect.
I wanted to plant flowers by our entry stairs. This is the view visitors get when they are coming down our driveway to our house. So I made a flower garden for the shade, using the prettiest plants I could find!
Since this area gets almost no sun, I had to plant very shade tolerant plants here that could withstand Zone 3 weather. I wanted it to be all perennial plants, so that I wouldn’t have to do a lot to maintain the bed once it got settled in and growing.
Perennials will return year after year, popping up through the moist soil! Here are the perennials I chose.
A Flower Bed for the Shade
Now, a couple of years later, I am doing zero maintenance and this bed always looks quite nice. I planted quite a few plants in this space and although not every one of them took, enough did that now the space is full.
This bed gets a lot of snow on top of it in the winter time, as the snow slides off the roof and lands right here. We can easily have four feet of snow on top of this bed.
So, shrubs were not an option for me – every time the snow fell off the roof, I could lose branches or even the whole shrub could get hit.
I needed plants that would fully die back in late Fall and then reappear in the early Spring with their new growth. And I needed shade flowers – plants that will still bloom, even planted in deep shade. This bed only gets a tiny bit of early morning sun and that’s it.
A Closer Look at the Shade Flowers I Chose
Hostas – There are a lot of different varieties of Hostas and some people have whole gardens filled only with Hostas. A sea of Hostas in a curving bed around the edge of a shady yard looks incredibly beautiful.
There a also lots of different colours of Hostas, from two tone greens, to dark greens to light greens.
I’m partial to the deeper green ones, and this two tone Hosta is probably as light as I will go.
Hostas do come in more of a yellow colour. The flowers on a Hosta don’t really amount too much, but they are pretty and I am growing this for the foliage, not the flowers. Hostas are all about the leaf colors.
Lady’s Mantle – I love the way the rain sits in the leaves after a spring shower. The leaves are cup shaped and it looks beautiful when they hold rain drops. Lady’s Mantle blooms in early summer.
This perennial is easy to grow and takes no maintenance at all, except if you wanted to divide it. You could do this after 3 or 4 years and get two large plants instead of one.
Getting more plants is such a bonus with using perennials. Use them for starting new flower beds!
Coral Bells – I have a couple of these plants and eventually hope to divide them and get more. This plant is slower growing than either of the above, but again needs no maintenance.
Very pretty bell shaped flowers sit way above the leaves. In the picture above, you can’t even really see the foliage, just the dainty flowers rising up.
Brunnera – I started out with 3 of these plants and now only have 1. I planted perennials that could stand a Zone 3 climate, with temperatures down to -35C in the dead of winter. That doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to survive!
More Shade Flowers
Lungwort – I used to grow this on the West Coast. I was surprised that it would survive up here in the Cariboo. Pretty little flowers with colors ranging from pink to red to blue on each stem. Love this!
Lungwort is another plant that needs virtually no maintenance. It will spread over time so give it a bit of room.
I am very happy with my flower bed for the shade and I love the color scheme at work here. I would eventually like to add some height to this corner with a metal sculpture.
Creeping Jenny adds a ground cover to this flower bed. I’ve also added a Bleeding Heart plant, which has settled in nicely. There is also some Lily of the Valley pips planted.
This shady portion of our yard is where you will find us around on Summer afternoons. One day, I hope to have an actual seating area here.
If you have an area of your yard that doesn’t get any sun, why not make a flower bed for the shade there? Add some patio pavers or even just some comfortable chairs. You will have a cool (and pretty) place to rest awhile in the summer heat.
You can find more ideas for pretty shade flower beds at Better Homes and Gardens.
Is this the year you will be planting fruit trees? Here’s how we planted fruit trees – now we enjoy picking apples every Fall.
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