Who doesn’t love a container filled with colourful flowers? But flowers need sun to bloom, and not every container gardener has sun. When this is the case, container plants for shade that feature interesting leaf shapes and textures are your best bet for a shady corner.
This trio of pots highlights a shady corner at the bend of a path. A cedar hedge and blue Nootka falsecypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Glauca’) is the backdrop. At the base of the pots is ‘Angelina’ sedum (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’), which has rooted in the gravel. Blue and green glazed terra-cotta orbs add colour and shine to the scene.
The pot on the left holds ‘Red Threads’ Joseph’s coat (Alternanthera ficoidea ‘Red Threads’), a narrow-leafed maroon tender perennial, grown as an annual in cold climates. A white variety of creeping gloxinia (Lophspermum erubescens) is trained up an obelisk in the large centre pot, surrounded by variegated Algerian ivy, spilling over the edge. At the bottom left, perennial ‘Dumbo’ bergenia (Bergenia ciliata ‘Dumbo’ spreads out its broad, fuzzy leaves in another terra-cotta pot.
The gloxinia displays a few blooms (it would flower more profusely if grown in more sun), just enough to tie it together with the white edges on the ivy. Its deeply veined, serrated leaves add another point of interest, while the soft green leaves of the bergenia contrast with the narrow dark Joseph’s coat foliage. All four plants contribute something to the scene, creating an interesting vignette to enjoy all summer long.