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7 Plants That Bring Color To Your Shade Garden

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

7 Plants That Bring Color To Your Shade Garden

Got a shady spot in your garden landscape? Our professional designers like these 7 plants to add color, texture and character to any low-light garden location.

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) Roundish chartreuse leaves and yellow flowers on trailing stems make this mat-forming perennial ideal for softening the edges of tall urns or hanging baskets. In the ground, it grows 4 to 8 inches tall, and spreads to 2 feet—rooting as it goes.

creeping jenny

Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum) The leaves of its many varieties have a silvery sheen that nearly glows in shade. Spreading to 3 feet wide, this perennial is great in hanging baskets and as pot edging.

dead nettle

Heuchera – Heucheras takes sun only in coolest climates, and grows to 28 inches tall.


Geranium cranesbill – True geraniums—which make fluffy little mounds of foliage and small flowers in white or shades of pink or blue—thrive in the light shade of high trees.

Geranium cranesbill

Hosta hybrids – Hostas come in a virtual wardrobe of shapes, textures, and colors. Depending on variety, their leaves may be heart-shaped, round, oval, or lance-shaped; glossy or dull; smooth or quilted; blue, green, or yellow.



Impatiens – With a dizzying array of color choices these plants are perfect containers or to edge a border.


Heucherella – Heart-shaped leaves on clumping plants 5 inches tall and 1 foot wide come in many beautiful colors. A hybrid of garden origin, it is the result of a cross between two distinct genera, Heuchera and Tiarella, and shows similarities to both parents.



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As winners of over 275 awards, Gibbs Landscape Company offers a proven track record of creative, quality landscape design and maintenance. Our team of highly trained, qualified Landscape Architects and horticulturalist can design and maintain a landscape that will add value to your property for years to come. You deserve the best in landscape design/build and maintenance…you deserve Gibbs Landscape Company.

It’s Time for Spring Color!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Now that spring is in full swing and blooms are abundant-azaleas, dogwoods, rhododendrons and more – it’s time to plant flowers for summer.   Mid-April through May is the perfect time to add seasonal color to your landscape.  There are annuals for sun that not only provide colorful blooms but, attract butterflies and hummingbirds too.  And, there are types with colorful foliage and flowers that will brighten dark shady spots.    Whether you grow them in containers, window boxes or mix them in with your perennials, annuals offer months of color and demand little in return.  Just make sure you give them regular water and fertilizer.

While there are a wealth of annuals to choose from, homeowners may notice that Impatiens, historically a classic choice for the shade garden, are not being offered as an option.   A disease called Downy mildew has wiped out great numbers of this plant and continues to pose a threat. Symptoms include yellow leaves, stunted growth and white downy covering on the undersides of the leaves.

The good news is that   SunPatiens ™ and New Guinea Impatiens appear to exhibit a high tolerance to this disease.  Other annuals that thrive in the shade or part-shade include Caladiums, Torenia, also known as the wishbone or clown flower and a variety of begonias.

A favorite selection of begonia, Begonia semperflorens, at Gibbs Landscape is the Whopper series,™ .  This heat tolerant variety grows up to 2 ½ ft tall and displays eye catching 3-inch flowers in red or rose set off by green or bronze foliage. While both foliage selections will grow in part-shade or shade, the bronze foliage types tolerate sunny locations better than the green leaf types.

A note about Caladiums- they require soil temperatures that are 70 F or warmer.  For this reason if you plant them in the ground wait until the end of April or the beginning of May.    For shady sites, Caladium ‘White Christmas’ is a beauty.  Combine it with ferns and hostas in the garden or plant it in containers.  For sunny locations consider Caladium ‘Aaron’ or ‘Red Flash.’   Coleus have long been popular (both sun and shade types) for their dramatic colorful foliage.  The Kong ™ series offers large foliage that is rose and green, scarlet and mosaic.  Growing 1 to 2 ft tall, they thrive in containers or in the ground.  Combine them with other flowering annuals.

For hot sun gardens, try  annuals like Pentas, (a favorite of butterflies), low growing and mildew resistant zinnias like  Zinnia ‘Profusion’ (white, orange, yellow) and reliable  lantana.   Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ looks like masses of babys breath but is tough and durable.  If you love geraniums, try the Blizzard ™ Geraniums, in red, blue and pink;  great performers during our long hot and humid Georgia summers.

For a dramatic display, plant combinations of annuals that include plants of different heights, textures and blooms.  For drama, mix in tropicals like Elephant ear and Canna.   Remember too, that large containers will not dry out as quickly as smaller ones and they make a big impact.   A small investment now will result in months of color for your summer and fall garden.

If you need assistance with your seasonal color design and installation, please contact Gibbs Landscape Company.  It would be our pleasure to assist you!