If your shade garden is lacking texture, ferns may be what you’re looking for. Japanese Painted Ferns, with their striking foliage variations, can bring light and color into any drab corner. The heights ranging 1-3 feet and spread in slow clumps. They can be divided in early spring, and once established can live for a very long time. Ferns are also a great addition to your containers.
‘Godzilla’ grows to 3’ and has beautiful silver fronds and dark purple stems.
‘Red Beauty’ grows 14-18” with silver and burgundy fronds and bright red stems this one truly pops in a shady corner.
‘Apple Court’ grows 1-1.5’ and has a very unique frond unlike most other Japanese painted ferns.
‘Pictum’ grows 1-1.5’ with 20” long fronds. The silver foliage will be most prominent in the spring and fading to a more greenish hue as temperature increases.
It’s not too early to think about the next year’s garden. The areas that may have burnt out in this year’s drought could be a great spot for hardy Salvias. Rabbit and deer resistant and a huge attractor of bees and butterflies, this is one of the easiest and long lasting perennial for the garden.
‘Caradonna’ is one of the taller salvias, growing to 24-30” tall. The strong violet purple flower contrasts well with its foliage.
‘Marcus’ is a very short grower to only 8-12” high is a great border perennial with it dark blue flowers. If salvias are deadheaded promptly, they will continue to bloom throughout the season.
‘May Night’ is one of the most popular salvia with its deep violet purple flowers and grey green foliage.
Rock soapwort is a great semi-evergreen groundcover that spreads rapidly to cover slopes and tumble over rock walls. Performs best in full sun and well-drained soil and will be covered in pink flowers come early spring. To keep neat mounds, cut back hard after blooms and divide late fall or early spring.
Woodland Phlox, or Phlox divaricate is a very fragrant native phlox that blooms in spring. The light blue flowers will bring light to the shadier parts of your yard where it will do best. Growing 12-18” tall and a naturalizing perennial in the right conditions, this can be a sweet smelling addition to any spring garden.