My Garden Zone Is
Moist Shade Growing Perennials with Bright Blooms
As with any beautiful perennial garden, variety is what makes a garden so interesting to look at. But how to decide what to grow with only limited space can be a real challenge. Luckily there are some perennial varieties that will fit in just about any conditions you have in the different beds surrounding your home. Even if you live in an apartment and are strictly a pot or container gardener, you can still grow beautiful perennials that if you don’t store yourself, you can give away at the end of the season to a friend who shares your gardening panache.
When having to decide just which varieties of perennials go with, it’s best to select hardy varieties that can offer your garden the best chance of success, and lobelia’s sure fit that description. Flowering from mid-summer through to the end of summer, the lobelia family offers both varieties of color and conditions that make it easy to place. For example, the red Cardinal flower lobelia, a plant that Thomas Jefferson included in his gardens at Monticello produces great, brilliant red blooms that grow up to 3-4’ high. The red Cardinal flower lobelia is an excellent choice to fill a space in the back of a tall plant that will re-seed itself if left alone, yet will tolerate those harder to populate shaded areas. This lobelia thrives in moist soil, but if you can keep the soil moist will also prosper in the direct full sun.
The Virginia bluebells perennial selection will provide your garden with the bright blue-purplish hue that few other varieties can offer. An excellent border plant for its low growing height, the Virginia bluebells plant will give you delicate trumpets of blooms in the early spring that will differentiate those shade areas and provide garden lookers a hint at what’s to come.
A third shade growing perennial that loves the moist wooded soil is the red trillium. Red trillium is commonly known as Wake Robin, and everything on them comes in threes, three leaves and three petals to these beautiful blooms that can open to a 4” wide bloom. What does not appear in three on a trillium are its seeds; each produces only one a year, so spreading these lovely flowers is a slow process without buying more. This plant will fit nicely behind your Virginia Blue Bells and in front of your red Cardinal flower Lobelia, as it grows to a moderate height of 12-16".
Shade perennials do exceptionally well in areas where there is not a lot of sunlight. They also multiply and are blooming age when received. Perennials never have to be taken up in fall for harsh winter weather. Also, they do not have to be replanted every spring. They live for decades.