Not surprisingly, I didn’t get too many people interested in the photo-post about the disease-ridden Impatiens walleriana, so let’s see if we get more interest in the “pretty plants” gardeners can use this summer, while Impatiens are on hiatus (at least as far as my clients are concerned). (And if you don’t know why you shouldn’t use Impatiens walleriana this summer, check out the link above.)

First the good Impatiens news: you can still use SunPatiens and New Guinea Impatiens, as they are not affected by downy mildew. There are many flower and leaf colors to choose from, and these two types of Impatiens will tolerate more sun than the shade Impatiens walleriana.  

For other shade garden plants, Heliotrope is not only a lovely violet-purple, but it is also fragrant, so it’s a perfect container garden or borden garden choice. Fuchsias look lovely dripping from a hanging basket or container garden. Coleus? The riotous foliage combinations work well with just about any flower garden favorite: there are trailing Coleus and upright Coleus to suit your every need (and they make excellent bedding plants). And lastly, the Begonia (and I’m not talking about the “wax begonias” planted en masse in front of every subdivision and shopping center across the country). Look for the dark-foliage or spotted-leaf Begonias, or dragon-wing and angel-wing Begonias, dripping with flowers from spring through late fall. There’s nothing more elegant. 

There will be plenty of choice for the shade garden this summer, so keep your eyes open.