Plants for Shade Gardening

Growing an attractive shade garden may at first appear challenging for some. After all, successful shade gardening comes with it’s own set of rules, and plants that flourish in sunny areas simply, well…..don’t in shady ones. But don’t be afraid of the shade. On even the hottest and most humid of days, a walk through the shade garden can help calm and cool your senses, and even help relieve stress. And while a shade garden may not pack the same powerhouse of color as their sunnier counterparts, shady nooks can be far from dark and drab. At Garden Supply Co, we have hundreds of beautiful plants for shade gardening that will provide interest and light in the shade garden through use of color, texture, and foliage.

P1020364

As you stroll through the garden center, you may have overlooked our quiet back corner under the arbor. Here you will find our huge selection of plants for shade gardening. And one quick glance will show you that shade plants can be far from boring. Quite the contrary, in fact. Shade plants can still provide the flowers you may crave, and provide interest through an amazing variety of foliage color and texture. 

If it’s flowers you want, impatiens and New Guinea impatiens will provide non-stop summer blossoms in a wide range of colors.

Impatiens- Garden Supply Co

Or there are many varieties of blooming begonias, including Tuberous, Dragon Wings, and the new Whopper begonia, which provides extra large flowers up to 3 in. (7 cm) across from spring through fall.

Begonia

There are also, of course, many fabulous flowering shrub plants that thrive in shade, including azalea, rhododendron, gardenia, hydrangea, just to name a few.

hydrangeas- Garden Supply Co

However, don’t rely solely on flowers for providing interest in shady corners. Look for shade plants that have colored foliage or interesting textures or leaf shapes. Focus on foliage and plant in mass. Cultivate interest with foliage. Create harmony through mass plantings. When a single specimen is planted it tends to be lost in the shade garden. Since many flowers on shade plants are small and delicate, large masses are more effective.

P1020365

As you can see, there is a huge variation of foliage color and texture available on shade perennials such as Heuchera, with colorful foliage ranging from yellows, reds, purples, & black.

Caladiums- Garden Supply Co

Or Caladiums, grown for their bold long-lasting and colorful foliage. Color combinations include various shades of red, pink, white, green, and yellow-green, with prominently colored midribs and contrasting margins.

Coleus- Garden Supply Co

Coleus plants glow with color, from soft and elegant to deep, bold tones—perfect for shady yards, gardens and terraces.

Hosta- Garden Supply Co

Hostas are extremely popular, hardy herbaceous perennials grown primarily for their beautiful foliage. Leaves come in a wide range of shapes, colors, sizes, and textures and may be solid in color or variegated in different combinations of blue, green, white, and gold.

For powerhouse interest, contrast the elliptical long leaf of a Hosta with the feathery leaf of a fern.

Ferns- Garden Supply Co

Gardening in the woods should be a pleasure, rather than a challenge. The lack of a lot of sun can overwhelm or even frighten some gardeners instead of what it really is — an excuse to grow a lot of great plants some would have never attempted before. For more tips on selecting the perfect plants for shade gardening, stop by the garden center. Our friendly experts are on hand seven days a week with answers to all your gardening questions.

Winter Blooms

The holidays are now officially behind us, and the chill drear of winter has set in. Although it’s been a fairly mild season so far, this past week has really taken a turn for the cold. With peek planting time still a few months away, it seems like spring, and all the flowers and new growth that comes with it, is a long ways away. If you’re craving some color to chase away the winter blues, never fear. We have lots of gorgeous plants that are in bloom now that will provide some much-needed cheer all winter long.

Garden Supply Co.- Cary, NC
Hellebore (Lenten Rose)

Hellebores are perennial and largely evergreen. Their flowers provide color and interest in the shade garden when other plants are dormant. In addition, their leaf structure is interesting enough to make them a foundation of the shade garden year-round, even when their flowers are spent. Hellebores are also deer resistant and somewhat drought tolerant. We have several beautiful varieties to choose from.

Of course one of our favorite plants for winter color is the pansy. Pansies come is a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes and work well in beds, borders, and container gardens. We have several carts full of the 4″ pots.

If you’re looking to add color, flowers, and fragrance to your winter landscape, try the Winter Daphne.

Winter Daphne has rosy-pink flower buds that open to white with fragrant flowers that bloom in winter and early spring. Reaching 4 feet tall and wide, Winter Daphne is beautiful against a wall or near a patio or deck where its fragrance can be appreciated.

For blooms indoors, we also have many options to choose from, including these gorgeous Paperwhites.

For those DIY folks, we have plenty of bulbs for planting or forcing indoors. Or for instant gratification, choose from our pre-planted selections. These make a great gift when paired with one of our many decorative plant stakes or garden art.

Or add a few African Violets to your kitchen windowsill for an instant burst of brightness.

And we have tons of stunning plants to choose from in our indoor garden, including some really incredible orchids.

As always, we are here seven days a week for all your gardening needs. Stop by and see us today!

A Mother’s Day Garden

Cary, NC

Last year on Mother’s Day, I was fortunate enough to have my mom visiting from California. Since we live on opposite coasts, you can imagine that this was a rare and special occasion for us to be together on this day. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time we were able to spend a Mother’s Day with each other. So to mark this one-of-a-kind event, I told Mom we could do anything she wanted to celebrate. Shopping, theater tickets, a concert, you name it. What did she choose? A day at Garden Supply Company, picking out new plants to create a Mother’s Day Garden in my bare back yard.

Here’s a little bit of detail about it. We were working with a border up against the back foundation of my house.  The area receives a bit of morning sun, but for most of the day, this zone is in the shade.  So step one was to head to the shade plant area at Garden Supply Co, where there are so many gorgeous plants to choose from.  We decided on Hostas as our main focus. Hostas are extremely popular, hardy herbaceous perennials grown primarily for their beautiful foliage. They are easy to grow, shade-tolerant plants. Leaves come in a wide range of shapes, colors, sizes, and textures and may be solid in color or variegated in different combinations of blue, green, white, and gold. The plants are low maintenance and with the huge selection of choices at Garden Supply, your options are boundless.

After weighing all the choices, we decided to go with a variety of hostas in a chartreuse-green color palette.  Chartreuse foliage is highly visible, even from a distance, and brings light to low-light areas. Choosing a variety of cultivars brings some interest to the border, while sticking to a chartreuse color palette unites the border into a cohesive planting. Here is what the area looked like before we got started.

Our hosta selection included: Great Expectations, Stained Glass, Atlantis, Fragrant Bouquet, Guacamole, and Sum & Substance.  We then decided on a few companion plants for our border to add more depth and interest, sticking to the shade area plantings at the garden center. We paired the hostas with the dark purple foliage of the ‘Plum Pudding’ Heuchera (Coral Bells) which do well in sun or light shade, and the light and airy foliage of the ‘Cinnamon’ Fern.  The contrast of these 3 plants provides a ton of visual interest.

For my 20-foot border, we selected 9 hostas, 3 coral bells, and 4 cinnamon ferns. Allowing for adequate planting space, this was the perfect number of plants to fill the area.

Now, one year later, I don’t have my mom to celebrate Mother’s Day with. But I have my garden. And that means the world to me.

To all you wonderful women out there, a very happy Mother’s Day to you from all of us at Garden Supply Co!

Caladiums

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! Today I am excited to share a really beautiful and easy to grow plant with you all, the caladium.

The caladium originated in the Amazon jungles of South America. It is a summer bulb (tuber) that will thrive in hot temperatures like ours, and it’s gorgeous heart-shaped leaves of red, white, pink, and green will paint your garden in color until the first cold nights. Caladiums offer a fabulous way to insert color and beauty without the use of flowers,  providing continuous interest in the landscape well beyond a limited blooming period.

Caladiums are easy to plant and are wonderful as a ground cover or border, or in pots, hanging baskets and planters on your deck and inside your home. Mix several varieties in your landscaping for a colorful contrast. Look at some of the gorgeous arrangements of caladiums you’ll find down at Garden Supply.

Caladiums can be grown as annuals, or may be over-wintered as tender bulbs. Remember that they are a hot-weather, summer bulb. The bulb will be damaged, causing dwarfed leaves, if the temperatures reach below 60 degrees for a prolonged period of time. Lightly fertilize every six weeks with the fertilizer you normally use (or 6-6-6 slow release fertilizer). In the fall, let the leaves die back, then before the first freeze, dig up the bulbs, leaving the leaves on. Store in mesh or paper bags between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Or better yet, bring your potted caladiums indoors during the cooler months and enjoy their colorful foliage as houseplants. You’ll not be sorry!

Caladiums make a wonderful addition for floral arrangements, too. Cut leaves will keep indoors for 2-3 weeks and are odorless and non-allergenic. Leaves should be soaked for 24 hours before using in arrangements.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope I’ve piqued your interest for adding color and interest in your homes and landscape through the use of bright and unusual foliage.  And join me back here soon for more snippets from the garden.

Hot Summer Sale

Hello everyone and happy Saturday!  The temperatures are sure rising these days.  It has been one hot June, and we’ve got some hot summer deals to match down at Garden Supply that you will not want to miss. Stop by the garden center and enjoy 20% savings off all trees, shrubs, and home & garden decor.

And in addition, for this weekend only, we have some extra special deals to throw into the mix. We have added Hydrangeas, (excluding “Limelight” variety), Rhododendrons, and Green-leaf Hypericums, Buy one, Get one free. Those shrubs are great in afternoon shade if you are lucky enough to have some!  Also, ALL perennials, mix and match, are on SALE. Choose 10 Perennials, get 20% off, choose 20 and get 30% off!

Believe or not, this still a great time of year to plant because plants “root in” quicker.  Our only caution is that if you are going out of town for more than 7 days, have a friend come by to water, as everything needs an inch a week.

The upcoming forecast shows some promise of relief from the heat, so come in this weekend while it’s hot and the sales are even hotter! Hope to see you all soon down at Garden Supply!

Hydrangea Heaven

Good morning everyone!  What a beautiful week it is.  It is so gorgeous down at the garden center right now.  I hope you all get a chance to stop by and stroll the gardens and drink in the beauty down every path.  The roses are blooming, the perennial and annual tables are absolutely bursting with color, and the tropicals from Monrovia are radiant and bright.  Everywhere the eye can wander at Garden Supply is a sight to behold, indeed.

Some of you may have noticed on your drives around town that the early Crepe Myrtles are beginning to bloom. Crepe Myrtles are wonderful additions to your home landscape offering colorful and long-lasting flowers along with sinewy, fluted stems and branches with a mottled appearance that arises from having bark that sheds throughout the year.

Zuni Crepe Myrtle

We are pleased to bring you this Zuni variety early-blooming Crepe Myrtle down at Garden Supply.  The Zuni is a special introduction featuring larger dark lavender flower trusses, improved hardiness, and handsome peeling bark. A must-have for the garden for early summer blooming.

And if you are ready for some truly gorgeous blossoms, you must come and see our hydrangeas.  We have a huge selection of flower type and color, from the standard globe-like mop form to delicate lace caps.  My absolute favorite variety and top find of the day is the ‘new for 2010′ Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea.

Invincibelle Spirit

The Invincibelle Spirit has rich pink flowers that bloom from early summer to the first frost.  This hardy and native plant even re-blooms without deadheading, and the fragrance is out of this world.

Blushing Bride & Twist-n-Shout

In the foreground here is the Endless Summer Blushing Bride hydrangea.  This lovely plant blooms with radiant pure white, semi-double florets that gradually mature to a sweet pink blush.  This newest member of the Endless Summer Collection reliably blooms on both old and new growth, producing more blooms all season long. Blushing Brideʼs full yet compact habit makes it an ideal plant for decorative containers, elegant as a stand-alone shrub or combined with other garden plants.

Beyond the Blushing Bride hydrangea in the above photo and below is the Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout.  Twist-n-Shout boasts gorgeous season-long blooms, vivid color, sturdy red stems and deep green foliage.

Twist-n-Shout

This stunning lace-cap hydrangea is available exclusively to independent North American nurseries in limited quantities, with European distribution to follow later this year.  So hurry in and get your hands on one while they last.

Another outstanding hydrangea is the Big Daddy variety, offering 12 – 14 inch flower heads which radiates blue and pink in tightly-clustered masses of gigantic blooms. Big Daddy features some of the largest flowers of any hydrangea. The plant has strong stems, making the blooms ideal for cutting.

Big Daddy

Or how about the lovely Light of Day which bears green leaves festively edged in white and  flattened lace-cap flowers in shades of blue and pink.

Light of Day

The inner blooms are either pink or blue, depending on the soil acidity. Surrounding the inner blooms are bright white flowers. ‘Light O’ Day’ will reach about four feet tall and four feet wide. It prefers moist soil (not wet) in a place with afternoon shade and morning sun. ‘Light O’ Day’ makes an excellent choice for the woodland garden or along the north side of the house or garage.  For maximum bloom production, choose a spot that is lightly shaded, has dappled shade or is shaded in the afternoon with morning sun.

For gorgeous repeat blooms look to the Endless Summer the Original hydrangea.
the Original
The repeat blooms of Endless Summer the Original truly offer gardeners an endless summer of incredible color. This hardy plant is perfect for everything from foundation planting to container gardening. They even make an ideal floral arrangement or table setting as cut flowers.  And speaking of color – that’s also one of the remarkable aspects of this plant. You can alter the color from pink to blue. LEARN MORE
For a eye-catching white blooming variety, check out the Anabelle arborescens hydrangea.
Anabelle
‘Annabelle’ is one of the most popular hydrangeas, growing under a wide range of conditions. It has very symmetrical large flowers on erect stems. Elegant best describes this plant. Welcomed, mid to late summer flowers are white to greenish-cream and 6-inches across.
Come on down to Garden Supply and see these stunning hydrangeas for yourself, along with all our beautiful plant selections.  Our experts are standing by to help you create the yard of your dreams this season. And I’ll be back here soon for more snippets from the garden. Thanks for stopping by, everyone!