By: Garden Gate staff
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Sizzling in the shade
A shady garden spot doesn’t have to feel boring! This combo will stay interesting even when flowers aren’t in bloom, thanks to dramatic foliage. Round, ruffled leaves of lady’s mantle, heart-shaped hosta leaves and frilly astilbe foliage — this contrasting trio holds your attention.
And the astilbe here has the deepest red flowers of any cultivar. Leave spent blooms on the plant to dry for added interest the rest of the year — you don’t have to worry about it reseeding. Lady’s mantle, however, reseeds like crazy. If you don’t want extra plants, be sure to snip the flowers off when they’re done.
For more about the plants in this brightening combo, click ahead.
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While all these plants will grow in full shade, they’re really better off in part shade. In fact, if the hosta’s doesn’t get enough sun, the leaves will have a slightly green cast. Morning light, even in the South, is best, since it’s not as harsh as afternoon sun.
A – ‘Sun Power’ hosta (Hosta hybrid) Perennial; purple in midsummer; part shade; 18 to 24 in. tall (40 in. in flower), 36 to 48 in. wide; cold zones 3 to 9, heat zones 9 to 1
B – ‘Fanal’ astilbe (Astilbe arendsii) Perennial; red in summer; part to full shade; 18 to 20 in. tall and wide; cold zones 4 to 8, heat zones 8 to 1
C – Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) Perennial; chartreuse in summer; full sun to part shade; 10 to 18 in. tall, 18 to 30 in. wide; cold zones 4 to 8, heat zones 8 to 1