Adding Color to Your Shade Garden for Under $50.00
Limited Annual Flower Budget?
I have a limited budget each year for annual flowers - about $50.00 - and I have a lot of yard space to fill. So how do I fill my yard with annual color without breaking the bank? I have three suggestions:
(1) Use pots to elevate and concentrate your plants.
(2) Limit your choices to three or four plants for the most impact.
(3) Use plants that can be dug and saved for next year.
Use Pots to Increase the Impact of Annual Flowers
My flower garden and foundation plantings come alive during the spring and summer. Spend the most of your garden budget on shrubs, trees and perennials then fill in with color and texture during the spring and summer with annuals. To get more "bang for your buck," plant some of your annuals in pots and place them in the garden for maximum impact and savings. When I plant my annuals in pots, I find that I can use fewer plants for greater show.
Limit Your Choices
While there are many choices of plants even in the shade garden, I limit my choices to three or four key plants for the most color and impact. Decide which plants you like best and stick to those.
Annual Shade Plants in My Garden
Why I Like Them
New Guinea Impatiens/Impatiens
Comes in many bright-colored colors
6 pack of Impatiens - $2.00
Full shade to partial shade
6 pack of Begonias - $2.00
Provides color and texture
6 pack of Coleus - $2.00
Multiple colors; adds height
40 bulbs - $12.00
Total - Impatiens: $6.00; Begonias: $6.00; Coleus $4.00; Caladium bulbs: $24.00
I LOVE Caladiums; nothing is quite as "southern" to me as a garden full of Caladiums. From white to pink to red to multi-color, Caladiums add a depth and richness to the garden. Grow your Caladiums from bulbs. You can plant them directly into the ground or a pot. At the end of the season, you can dig and save your Caladium bulbs - just let them dry then put them in peat moss and store in a dry place. Next year you will have a head start on Caladiums and can then choose colors and varieties that you didn't grow last year.
Sun, Shade or Both
My cabin has shade and sunny areas so I have to consider the amount of sun when planning the annuals to add to my garden. The perennials in the shade part of my gardens include hosta, which can be divided and replanted every several years, a cost savings, and fern, which I dug from my neighbor’s woods. In addition, I planted hydrangea, which is easy to root to add even more plants. In my sunny gardens, I have planted Knock-out Roses, and Day-Lillys, which also can be sub-divided every few years, and lantana, which comes back yearly. I also include crysanthium, which returns during the summer and blooms during the fall. In those areas that get some sun but still have shade part of the day, I planted gardenia and azalea.
Sun or Shade
Is the majority of your garden in sun or shade?
Some of My Favorite Annual Plants for Shade
- Caladium (dig the bulb after growing season and save for next year)
Some of My Favorite Perennial Plants for Shade
- Toad Lilly
- Bleeding Heart
- Christmas Rose (Helebore)
- Japanese Painted Fern
- Wild Ginger
© 2014 Susan B. Ouzts