When you think of a shade flower garden you may think of a woodland garden full of diminutive plants, and possibly with diminutive leprechauns and fairies among them; depending upon your imagination and/or illegal substance use. But there is no reason you can’t have giants among your shade flower garden, nature certainly has them. Tall shade plants can add interest and focal points to your shade flower garden. While tall shade plants may not be readily available at your local retailer, you can find a wide selection at online nurseries like Plant Delights Nursery.
Architectural plants can add needed focus to a garden, even in the shade. A number of tall shade plants are great for this role. The genus Fargesia, a clumping bamboo for part shade, makes a great structural addition to the shade flower garden. At 6 to 12 feet tall these tall shade plants add some weight and texture to the garden, and these non-running bamboos are well behaved, unlike any pixies that might inhabit your shade flower garden. Illicium parviflorum 'Florida Sunshine' is a beautiful pale yellow leafed anise shrub that can add brightness and structure to part shade. This native anise shrub gets tall enough at 5 feet to add interest without being large enough to overwhelm the landscape. Edworthia ‘Snowcream’ is another great small tree for part shade, which adds winter interest with small fragrant winter flowers.
Tall shade plants don’t have to be structural. There are a number of tall flowers for the shade. A number of the toad lilies, like Tricyrtis 'Dark Beauty' and Tricyrtis lasiocarpa can reach up to 4 and 3 feet, respectively. These can add great height and color to the shade garden. Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) is another great part-shade plant to add height (4 feet) and color (red) to the garden. A number of Solomon’s Seal reach to 3 to 4 feet, such as Polygonatum cyrtonema, P. macropoda, and P. polyanthemum. These add both delicate graceful flowers and elegant architural foliage to the garden.
Foliage plants that get tall and add texture make great additions to the garden. Ferns make a great and diverse addition to the shade garden. Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) is a great native fern that reaches 3 feet tall. Dryopteris x australis is a native natural hybrid fern that reaches over 4 feet. The amorphophallus (voodoo lilies) add height with unusual cut foliage and tall giant flowers. Words don’t do these varied plants justice, so view pictures in our online catalog. These varieties can sizes from 3 inches to 15 feet tall, though sadly some are tropical. Plants for the shade garden come in all heights, from the fairy to the giant. So shop at Plant Delights Nursery where our plant diversity is magical.