Annual Flowers That Grow In Shade
In my little patch of garden I have a lot of shade. The owners planted maple trees all over the place which are all bare right now but will bring more and more shade as the spring progresses. Last year I was a bit intimidated by the deep shade bed in the corner but this year I’m sallying forth and planting it up. So I’ve had to put my mind to plants that will enjoy some shade during the day, as the shadows lengthen, and annual flowers that grow in shade for most of the day. Luckily, there are quite a few of the little darlings, some of which are my favorite flowers and which I’ve mentioned in other articles. There are lots of ground covers with flowers that grow in shade.
From the annual flowers that grow in shade, I just love Cinerarias. Inland they prefer much more shade but here near the coast they would be happy with early morning sun I should think. They have daisy type flowers but with a kick. Of course, they are in stiff color competition with English Primroses which are pretty hectic. I also have a lovely double primrose which is a gentle salmon color.
Actually, Primroses will survive our milder winters but most gardeners treat them as annuals because they can look a little tatty in late summer. I have seen some very seductive double blue ones lately, a whole new color range for me and Primroses.
What would shade beds be without Busy Lizzies (Impatiens), I ask? These tough little plants bloomed from late spring all through summer for me last year after the the gophers had done away with my Caladiums. I had red and hot pink mingling with each other but you could plant a much softer color palette of whites, pale pinks and mauve.
Blue is a wonderful color in the shade and a lot of ground covers produce blue flowers that grow in shade. I like to plant Violas and Pansies at the base of trees to brighten things up in a subtle way, although most of my friends would not think of me in terms of subtle plantings! I also love planting them in containers for the patio and, in fact, all the annuals I’ve mentioned would grow beautifully in pots as well as garden beds so it’s win win all the way.
I have lots of Snap Dragons self seeding in my garden and they are quite happy to grow in light shade. I have just planted a punnet of seeds from miniatures I grew last year and they are popping up very gratifyingly. I have also planted Lobelia seeds because I love having them in between all my lilies.
They have a long flowering period but don’t like the cold I discovered. Most annuals don’t. Lobelias will grow in sun or shade but prefer filtered light. They come in white, blue and purple. Keep the seeds and plant from spring through summer, just like I do with Alyssum which is always eager to please.
A patch of Osteospermums self seeded under the trees last year and, although they are supposed to be sun-lovers, they seem just as happy in the shade.
Going back to blue in the shadows, Violets make a great ground cover and can take a lot of shade. In fact, they don’t really like much sunlight although they are a bit more sun tolerant here at the coast. They die out in winter but self seed prolifically and reemerge in the spring. I even have some growing between the bricks in my courtyard.
Foxgloves are the perfect shade plants to add a bit of height to the garden mix. They are also very drought tolerant in this area and self seed all over the place. This one here is a welcome volunteer and has the bumble-bees buzzing! Strictly speaking, they are biannuals which means they take two seasons to bloom.
Here is a link to a Gopher resistant plant list: http://www.groundcoversandgardening.com/gopher resistant plants and you can find deer resistant plants here.