Shade loving plants for new flower beds

I have always lived in a house with a full sunny yard. Now I live in a house with 20 pine trees in the front yard and not much sun. Help! I need to know what kind of plants I can buy to put in my flower beds,which are empy waiting for my input. I do know about hostas and astibilles. but not much else.
  4 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 12, 2013
    The first thing you need to do is get a soil test, Cyndi. I suspect it is on the acidic side, which is good, because many things that would be happy in shade like that pH as well. I'm thinking rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. If you have really dense shade, they may not flower well, but the shifting shade of pines is often ideal for them. Add some itea and some clethra and you'll have a long season of blooming shrubs. And you should definitely plant some hellebores. Other plants to consider include chelone, partridgeberry and birdfoot violet.

  • Gretchen Gretchen on Mar 12, 2013
    Ferns might be good - there are so many different sizes and shapes, you can make groups of different ferns. They like moisture, but so do astilbe, so they can work together. Azaleas, rhododendrons, and bay laurels are also good for the "bones" of a shade garden. Ajuga works at the front of a shade garden, as does lily of the valley. Lobelia, plumbago, epimedium and lamium are more. This list is just a start - there are lots of beautiful shade plants. Many of these plants don't have huge colorful flowers for extended periods of time, so (if you don't have deer), you can fit in some colorful annuals like impatiens in large groupings. Large amounts of color might come from big groups of flowers (like the astilbe) rather than just one plants here and there. Think about native and woodland plants for your area too. Shade gardens may not have huge color, but they certainly have texture!

  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Mar 12, 2013
    My husband and I just moved into a new home with very little shade for gardening. Our other house had shade on all four sides so I have had alot of experience with shade plants. Azaleas make a nice foundation planting as they do not lose their leaves. I have also had good luck with Lillies of the Valley, brunnera, heucherella, lithriope (monkey grass) NOTE: If you get the solid green type, beware it spreads, foxglove and bleeding heart plants. The heucherella maintain their color year round. The brunnera is much like hosta but seem to come up before and stay longer.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Mar 12, 2013
    Wow! Thank you all so much. Because of all of your input, I now I have a long list of plants to start with...maybe I will have time to post pictures after I get them all in the ground.