Substitutions for the Shade Garden
Avoid Impatiens walleriana again this year, due to the disease problems associated with everyone’s favorite summer annual. Click HERE to read the 2013 Downy Mildew Update.
First the good Impatiens news: you can still use SunPatiens and New Guinea Impatiens, as they are not affected by downy mildew. Both varieties offer many flower and foliage selections, and they will tolerate more sun than Impatiens walleriana.
For other shade garden plants, consider Heliotrope’s lovely violet-purple flower clusters which are also fragrant, making this a perfect container garden or borden garden choice. Fuchsias look lovely dripping from a hanging basket or container garden. How about Coleus? The riotous foliage combinations work well with just about any flower garden favorite: there are trailing Coleus and upright Coleus to suit every need, and they make excellent bedding plants. Consider 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, dragon-wing and angel-wing Begonias, dripping with flowers from spring through late fall. There is simply nothing more elegant, and they will triple in size over the growing season. Nicotiana is a fragrant, shade tolerant annual, and it’s also deer resistant.
There will be plenty of choices for the shade garden this summer, so keep your eyes open.