Container Plantings For Shady Places

No shady spot need be a sleepy spot.  The combination of these old red spikes and variegated licorice entirely satisfy my eye.  The dark purple blooms on the tibouchina-astonishing.  White caladiums and a white fuchsia on standard-pale colors are great in the shade.  I take no credit for these containers-my client keeps them beautifully. 

A window box at the shop is in fairly deep shade.  A group of caladium cultivars are dramatically light in that shade.  Caladiums are as easy to grow as they are satisfying.  The frilly leaves have a dressy and insouciant look.  Who could tell it was 96 degrees when I took this picture?  

The begonia Madame Queen is new to me.  This plant has every visual hallmark of a difficult to grow plant; I do not know how to explain this.  After many years of gardening, I can tell the fussy plants from the easy going plants.  Madame Queen says it all.  I know the watering will have to be perfect.  I am game-given how much this plant could dress up the shade.

Who knew Kong coleus came in green?  The leaves are richly green, and velvety.  I am expecting this Kong to grow large.  The strap leaved yellow and green coleus will  provide a vivid and vocal supporting cast.  The Jayde pepperomia-frosting on the cake. 

This odd spot happens to be underneath a second level deck.  An old copper washtub filled with sanseveria, calathea, and creeping jenny makes something of the space.   

I love leaves.  I have never seen one I did not like.  Leaves can provide color every bit as good as the color from a flower.  If you garden in the shade, consider leaves.        

Tropical plants get a new lease on life, once they are moved outdoors.  They thrive in the shade outdoors.  I would guess they are a dracaena cultivar, and a grey pilea, but I am more interested in how they look in this container.  No gardener really needs to know the botanical names of plants.  What makes a gardener is experience. 

Rob has a love for weedy and fern like shady container plantings. As I like color in the shade as well as I do the sun, I am dubious from the start about his shade pots. His shade plantings are subtle and sensational.

The lime green dracaena Janet Craig is anything but subtle.  The curly liriope and lime licorice dance around those large stiff leaves, and loosen up the entire composition. 

 Shady spots can be strikingly good looking spots.

Hooray For Shade

Shady garden spots have that quiet and peaceful feeling about them-but that does not mean they have to be to uneventfully green.  Sum and Substance hosta is notable for its lime green color; that bold chartreuse looks like someone turned the lights on.  Container plantings in shade can have just as much punch.  This pepperomia is a vibrant shade of green; the intensely pebbly surface reflects light, and attracts the eye.  Pepperomias are small growing shade loving tropical plants that can brighten a shade garden in the summer, and keep you company indoors over the winter.     

There are plenty of tropical plants that are completely happy in shady places outdoors.  These bromeliads are anything but shy in appearance.  I wanted to planty some pots I could keep in the shade of the lindens at the shop.  This red/orange and green duo is just the sort of plant that will brighten that very shady spot.

This pepperomia Jayde features deep green, glossy, and perfectly heart shaped leaves.  It looks juicy enough to be a water plant.  It will make a great companion plant in a container.

This black leaved Calathea is an attention getter.  The shape of each leaf is described by a simple outline and midrib in hot pink.  The green blobby flowers you see pictured here cannot hold a candle to those strikingly beautiful leaves.    The surface of these pale green lance leaved Calathea leaves look as though they had been hand painted.  The pattern reminds me very much of rustic French or Italian china.  Where did I find these plants?  Telly’s Greenhouse, of course.  George has a great eye for unusual and beautiful plants. 

This particular green caladium glows white in the centers of the leaves, and is puinctuated with terra cotta colored blotches; it shines in the shade. 

Putting it all together is the fun of summer container gardens.  A window box in a shady spot can be very lively indeed.