Like the birds and the bees, we were created to seek the flowers; they for pollen and nectar, we for admiration and adornment. It’s part of our innate biophilic (love of the natural world) response. So one of the most common complaints that clients have, is the lack of flowers in areas of their properties that are heavily shaded . Rather than giving up,
(or worse- converting the area to a resource intense , monolithic lawn), I suggest finding the right shade tolerant and yes(!) flowering plant for these areas.
There are many annuals, bulbs, ground covers, perennials, flowering shrubs and even a few under story trees that require shady conditions and will reward you with flowers all year through. First, make sure your soil is suitable to provide the right home for these beauties ( amend the soil if necessary ) Next , determine whether it’s a full shade ( no direct sun )or part shade area( less than 4 hrs of sun per day) Next, go find the right resource to help you choose the right flowering plant to be “in bed “ with any other adjacent plants you have growing Companion planting ( finding plants, like friends, that complement one another, is critical. A credible nursery, a registered Master Gardener, or the online source we landscape designers often use, the Missouri Botanical Garden/ plant finder. are all excellent resources. Shade on your property is a blessing for many reasons – comfort, biodiversity , habitat for desired animals , and the opportunity to create drama by illuminating darker areas with the brilliance of flowers.
So if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Thats why I like to say, “ gimme some shade !”