Two Shade Garden Plant Combinations I Like

Here is a post I meant to publish over a month ago and it just got lost in the abundance of things to talk about this growing season! I have added a couple updated pictures.

In our corner shade garden we have hostas, heucheras, an oak leaf hydrangea, coleus, and astilbe. It’s fun to play around and see what plants look good together. I don’t have much shade to play with and so this garden gets filled to the brim which can create some neat variations on the shade theme.

The first combination here is the white flowering astilbe in front of a ‘Mocha’ Heuchera. ‘Mocha’ has some really dark foliage which would also look great next to some lime green heucherellas or hostas.

The other combination I’m pleased with in the shade garden uses only heucheras. Earlier in the spring I wrote about wanting to add ‘Silver Scrolls’ heuchera to the corner shade garden. Here in the picture you can see why.

The silver tinted leaves with greenish-burgundy variegation are simply really cool. Now when you mix it together with a solid color heuchera, like ‘Palace Purple’ it helps to accentuate the variegation even more. In the two pictures below the one on the left is from June while the one on the right is from July. You can see how fast ‘Silver Scrolls’ grows to fill in the area. This fall I’ll be dividing the ‘Palace Purple’ to keep the competition between the two perennials down and to make a few more plants! (Seems like I’m always doing that!)

8 Replies to “Two Shade Garden Plant Combinations I Like”

  1. Dear Dave (my Dave is still sitting comfortably on the deck with the rest of the 'boys in the 'hood" hehehe)
    Anyways back to business .. YES !! I have had Silver Scrolls for about 5 years now and it was my first true love in the heuchera family .. it is an amazing marbeling in its leaves and is the perfect size for my smaller shade borders .. a great pairing in yours I might add !

  2. I also like goats beard, it looks a lot like your white astilbe.

    I have tons of shady areas, most of them are filled with hostas and hydrangeas along with a few lilly of the valley and lady's mantle.

  3. Can't beat those heucheras for interest. Love the astilbe.

  4. Your heucheras look fabulous. I wish mine would grow like that. And that astilbe is awesome. I need to work on my shade garden more. Maybe I could try some astilbe around my pencil holly.

  5. I bought a few Palace Purple (you can't beat the price at the big box store) to give a bit of texture and color to the greenery here! They look terrific in the garden and can hold their own with the other heucheras I have. gail

  6. I love heucheras and was thinking of using some in a new shade garden I am creating, but am unsure if the rabbits will eat them. Dave do you have any information/experience of rabbits and heucheras?

  7. I always liked my Heuchera in Kentucky. I don't think I can grow them down here though. Yours looks really pretty.


  8. Joy,

    'Silver Scrolls' is the perfect heuchera, cool looking, drought tolerant and almost no maintenance! I can't wait to divide it to make more.


    I would love to have those shady areas to fill with hydrangeas (particularly the lacecap type), hostas, and all sorts of shade plants. I have shade envy, but that's what you get with a blank landscape. It takes time to grow a tree.

    Thanks Tina!


    Astilbe would look great in late spring among the green of your holly.


    I may have many more in the fall that I can give you at a much better price than the box stores…free!


    I have a ton of rabbits around and they almost never touch the heucheras. They are one of the few plants in my landscape that have been almost completely untouched by critters. I think you'll be safe if you use them near rabbits. Heucheras will form the basis of my future shade garden in the backyard because of this reason.


    They may not like the humidity but I'd gibe them a try. They don't seem to mind the heat one bit. But then again, I've never tried them in Florida.

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