Throughout the Hudson Valley, landscapes are peppered with soaring pine trees, sugar maples, and northern red oak. This makes for spectacular fall foliage, but it also means gardens are dappled or drenched with shade for some or all of the day. Many gardeners find shade gardens a particular challenge, but there are literally hundreds of shade plants to choose from. You can increase your gardening success by planting the varieties of plants that will thrive in our climate. I have been landscaping in the Hudson Valley for over 30 years. It is through trial and error, experience, and constant searching that I have learned which plants thrive in the shade. Here are some of my favorites:
For shade in the Hudson Valley, this ornamental perennial is a staple. Also known as coral bells, Heuchera is a low-growing perennial that comes in an assortment of leaf colors, from deep purple with black veining, to red, pink, green, and gold—plus some combinations that look silvery or peachy. The foliage is spectacular, but these plants also bloom with delicate upright stalks of flowers from April to September. The flowers range in color from white to pink, peach, and red.
OPTIONS FOR DEER-RESISTANT SHADE PLANTS
I have been a big fan of Hellebores for years, because they’re hardy, deer-resistant shade plants, and they are one of the first perennials to bloom late-winter/early-spring. Many varieties push their delicate blooms up through the snow, and the evergreen foliage is a welcome winter sight.
Epimediums flower in many different colors: Epimedium x rubrum has not only diminutive, deep-pink fairy flowers, but the ruby tinted leaves will add even more color to your early spring garden.
JAPANESE PAINTED FERNS & JAPANESE FOREST GRASS
But flowers are not the only things that can add interest through the fall; Japanese painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) and Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) offer foliage with color and texture for the shade all season long.
Victoria Gardens 1 Cottekill Road, Rosendale