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This is a short-growing aster with lilac-blue flowers and creeping rootstocks. Many cultivars exist. It can be used on steep slopes for erosion control.
This striking, richly-textured, deciduous ground cover has heart-shaped leaves that turn mauve in autumn. Purple, blue, or white flowers appear in late summer to early fall.
This plant produces distinct, 2-inch blossoms primarily in rich blue (but also in shades of purple and white), with dark eyes smudged white. It is suitable for sun and partial shade.
This is an evergreen, bushy shrub native to southwestern Europe and North Africa. Rock roses are useful in a shrub border, on a hillside, or in containers. Cistus albidus bears vibrant lilac-pink flowers in summer. Although each flower lasts only one day, they are produced in great numbers on plants that are 3 feet tall and wide.
Stunning, fragrant pinkish-purple flowers bloom in spring and then sporadically through fall. The ferny foliage can reach as high as 3 feet and looks great around hostas and other shade garden plants.
This species produces copious purplish-blue flowers in spring and fall. It has light green ferny leaves with a mid-rib of silver.
Summer-long bloom and a tough constitution make the mat-forming ice plant a perfect groundcover. Two-inch magenta blossoms with white anthers are produced in midsummer and late summer.
This compact species forms broad mats of blue-gray linear leaves and is perfect for a rock garden setting. The purplish-pink flowers are solitary, toothed, and deliciously fragrant.
The large blooms of this perennial are a spectacular violet-blue with a white throat and darker venation on plants 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. The attractive foliage weaves itself through neighboring plants. Grow in borders, containers, or rock or cottage gardens. 'Rozanne' is most effective en masse.
This popular perennial is grown for its blue or lavender-blue, saucer-shaped flowers that bloom for many weeks. It is useful in borders, rock gardens, and containers. It quickly reaches about 18 inches tall and 2 or 3 feet wide.
This plant bears rich medium blue to violet-blue flowers from 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide in early summer, and blooms sporadically throughout the summer.
This attractive groundcover blooms all summer and is tolerant of diverse habitats. It has glossy leaves and notched, 1.25-inch lilac-pink flowers with darker veins.
From late fall through winter, the leathery leaves of hellebores stay glossy, cheery, and green. Hybrids of H. orientalis and other species have a clump-forming habit and leathery leaves. They begin blooming in February or March in a range of shades, adding much needed color very early in the season. The blooms last for a very long time, especially if the weather stays cool. Hellebores are tolerant of summer heat and humidity. -Marty Hair, Regional Picks: Upper Midwest, Fine Gardening issue# 127
This everblooming daylily is a member of the Happy Ever Appster(R) family of daylilies. All Happy Ever Appster daylilies are offspring of the popular 'Happy Returns' daylily and were developed by Dr. Darrel Apps, famous daylily hybridizer. 'Just Plum Happy' flaunts 6-inch-wide, bright rose-pink blooms with purple centers on stems 12 to 16 inches tall from June to frost above a clump of deep green, strappy leaves 18 to 24 inches wide.
'Blue Angel' makes a very large tiered mound of heavily textured blue leaves that can be as wide as 18 in. in diameter.
'Blue Shadows' is a medium-sized plant with coarse, deep blue, variegated leaves.
Bold, large, shield-shaped leaves with a deep green center and creamy-white margins turn white with age. Funnel-shaped mauve flowers borne on leafy scapes 32 inches long appear in midsummer.
‘Halycon’ is a wonderful blue hosta that holds its strong leaf color all season. Its textured, blue-green leaves are thick enough to be slug resistant. Bell-shaped, pale lilac flowers are followed by seed heads that attract birds late in the season. 'Halcyon' grows fairly slowly. It can be used as either a ground cover or a specimen plant. -Jane Hutson, Regional Picks: Midwest, Fine Gardening issue# 127
'Patriot' is one of the few hostas that can really take the heat. It's a tough plant with relatively large leaves, and their white edges shine in the shade the shade. In midsummer, lavender flowers appear on tall spikes. -Lou Anella, Regional Picks: Southern Plains, Fine Gardening issue #127
'Sun Power' is a clump-forming perennial with oval to heart-shaped, yellowish green leaves below funnel-shaped, pale-lavender to white flowers in midsummer.
Q&A Ground covers for dry shade
by Barbara Ashmun
Moss Makes a Lush Carpet
This easy-to-tend ground cover forms the foundation of a sculpted woodland retreat
by Jeff Osser
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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