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Adding Color to Your Shade Garden for Under $50.00

Updated on July 22, 2014

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Impatiens growing in two pots placed in a garden cart.  Caladiums, grown from bulbs, have a BIG impact in the garden and add lots of color and texture.    The "Caladium Wheelbarrow."  I dig these bulbs up in the fall and save for next year.CaladiumsI love using a variety of different shaped pots!
Impatiens growing in two pots placed in a garden cart.
Impatiens growing in two pots placed in a garden cart.
Caladiums, grown from bulbs, have a BIG impact in the garden and add lots of color and texture.
Caladiums, grown from bulbs, have a BIG impact in the garden and add lots of color and texture.
The "Caladium Wheelbarrow."  I dig these bulbs up in the fall and save for next year.
The "Caladium Wheelbarrow." I dig these bulbs up in the fall and save for next year.
Caladiums
Caladiums
I love using a variety of different shaped pots!
I love using a variety of different shaped pots!

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.


Notice that I use rocks to add to the structure and impact to the garden.
Notice that I use rocks to add to the structure and impact to the garden.
Annual Shade Plants in My Garden
Why I Like Them
My Cost
New Guinea Impatiens/Impatiens
Comes in many bright-colored colors
6 pack of Impatiens - $2.00
Begonias
Full shade to partial shade
6 pack of Begonias - $2.00
Coleus
Provides color and texture
6 pack of Coleus - $2.00
Caladium
Multiple colors; adds height
40 bulbs - $12.00
 
 
Total - Impatiens: $6.00; Begonias: $6.00; Coleus $4.00; Caladium bulbs: $24.00
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Combine annuals with perennials.Caladiums planted in a pot - placed next to a hydrangea and hosta (perennial).  Fern with Caladiums; I added an odd root for garden structureFern returns yearly; Caladiums from the pots can be dug and saved for next year, Hosta returns yearly and can be sub-divided.Hostas, Caladiums, and Impatiens
Combine annuals with perennials.
Combine annuals with perennials.
Caladiums planted in a pot - placed next to a hydrangea and hosta (perennial).
Caladiums planted in a pot - placed next to a hydrangea and hosta (perennial).
Fern with Caladiums; I added an odd root for garden structure
Fern with Caladiums; I added an odd root for garden structure
Fern returns yearly; Caladiums from the pots can be dug and saved for next year, Hosta returns yearly and can be sub-divided.
Fern returns yearly; Caladiums from the pots can be dug and saved for next year, Hosta returns yearly and can be sub-divided.
Hostas, Caladiums, and Impatiens
Hostas, Caladiums, and Impatiens

Saving Caladiums

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?

See results
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fern and Caladiums
Fern and Caladiums
Fern and Caladiums
Source

Some of My Favorite Annual Plants for Shade

  • Begonia
  • Caladium (dig the bulb after growing season and save for next year)
  • Impatiens
  • Coleus

Some of My Favorite Perennial Plants for Shade

  • Astilbe
  • Toad Lilly
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Hosta
  • Lungwort
  • Christmas Rose (Helebore)
  • Japanese Painted Fern
  • Wild Ginger


© 2014 Susan B. Ouzts

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    • susanouzts profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan B. Ouzts 

      3 years ago from Monroe County, GA

      I am already planning my spring and summer gardening; are you? :-)

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