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European wild ginger is a low-growing groundcover with glossy, evergreen, heart-shaped leaves. Its unusual purple-brown flowers lie mostly concealed beneath foliage.
This wild ginger is an evergreen groundcover with heart-shaped, shiny leaves that are often marbled. Its interesting brown-purple flowers hide beneath the foliage.
A tuft of thin grassy foliage with gray and gold variegation distinguishes this cultivar. Early summer brings 3-foot-tall, airy plumes of tiny flowers that look beautiful when backlit by the sun. As fall approaches, the foliage turns golden with pink-coral tips. This grass even grows well in shadier sites. Plant in a border, woodland garden, or shaded rock garden.
Yellow whitlow grass is a small, semi-evergreen perennial perfect for growing in a trough, rock wall, or xeric bed. It grows to only 4 inches high and twice as wide. This delightful, drought-tolerant miniature has spiny rosettes of lustrous green leaves through the winter and cheerful yellow flowers in early spring.
These compact tufts of 8-inch-long powder-blue leaves are well suited for edging and naturalizing in the rock garden.
This prairie native bears nodding, pinkish-maroon flowers in spring, followed by seed heads that resemble wisps of cotton candy and connote the plant's common name. The upright, ferny foliage is beautiful, and can be evergreen in mild climates.
Year-round gray-green foliage persists through shade and snow and is fairly deer and rabbit resistant. Flowers appear in early spring with daffodils and tulips. This cultivar produces flowers that sit well above the foliage and point upward, which adds to its showiness.
This perennial evergreen has white-speckled leaves with toothed edges. It produces abundant yellow flowers in late winter and early spring.
Rosettes of evergreen, leathery, heart-shaped leaves emerge marbled and veined with brown, maturing to deep green with copper-green shading. In summer, spikes of tiny greenish white flowers are held aloft on stalks up to 3 feet tall. Use coral bells in a border, rock garden, native plant garden, woodland, or shade garden, or as edging or groundcover.
Hens & chicks are always a welcome sight, and this exciting 'Black' variety is a newer take on the old favorite.
This thyme grows to 6 inches tall, with fuzzy stems and tiny, rounded, fuzzy blue-green leaves. In summer, it produces clusters of very small white to lilac-pink flowers. Plants spread to about 9 inches wide. The leaves are aromatic but the strength of their scent varies according to the plant's site and the time of year.
A hardworking, compact perennial, ‘Etain’ violet forms well-behaved clumps and blooms from time to time from spring through fall. The attractive, fleshy, bright green foliage needs protection from slugs. -Sylvia Matlock, Regional Picks: Northwest, Fine Gardening issue #127
Colorful Selections For Shade
With these striking plants, you'll never need to settle for a sea of green again
by Gene E. Bush
Forget the wallflower varieties - these 10 stars take center stage
Conifers for Shade
Yes, you can grow evergreen trees and shrubs in shade. Who knew?
by Christine Froehlich
10 Combinations for Shade
The secret is in using color to pump up the interest in low-light spots
by Inta Krombolz
Bringing Sun and Shade Together
Show off what these extremes have to offer, then unite them with some common ground
by Dan Johnson
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