How to - Gardening Resources

10 perennials that flower in the shade

These beautiful blooms are an added bonus to any shade garden.

We also talked to Peter Cantley, vice president of floral and garden at Loblaw Companies Ltd., who sources plants throughout Canada for more than 600 garden centres. Here are some of his favourites:

Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)
Brunnera, specifically Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, provides a cloud of blue forget-me-not flowers in springtime, then offers its heart-shaped silver foliage in the garden the rest of the summer.

Image courtesy of President's Choice


Astilbes are ideal for shade gardens. Their fern-like foliage adds interest all summer, right through the fall. The flowers, perched on airy plumes, bloom in shades of reds, purples, pinks and whites and keep their form even after their colour fades. Cantley suggests the new ‘Rock and Roll’ variety, which has white flowers June through July and grows 50 centimetres tall and 40 centimetres wide.

Image courtesy of President’s Choice

Hydrangeas are a must-have, universal favourite. They now come in various sizes, in pinks, blues, or the classic white. Cantley chooses a new introduction called ‘Bobo.’ It produces so many white blooms, you can’t see the foliage, he explains.

Image courtesy of Proven Winners

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