Garden Photo of the Day

Wishlist Plants for Shade

Cool gems for low light

Hi GPODers, your editor Joseph here again today with more plants from my spring shopping wishlist. And today I’m sharing some things I’m eyeing to add – or reaquire – for my shade garden.

To start off, this wonderful woodland spring bloomer, Anemone nemorosa ‘Vestal’ (Zone 5 – 9). This is a photo I took at a fantastic garden in Oregon, and I’ve been wanting a patch of this plant ever since.

The best of the yellow wood poppies, Hylomecon japonicum (Zone 4 – 8) comes up in the spring looking absolutely perfect and covers itself with sunny yellow blooms. This is a photo from my friend Brigitta’s garden in Michigan. High time I added some clumps to my own garden.

This is a wildflower I remember from my childhood that I rarely see in gardens for some reason. Purple flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus, Zone 3 – 8) is native to open woodlands around much of eastern North America. It has fragrant. Purple flowers all summer followed by small raspberries that are edible if not amazing tasting. Oh, and unlike other raspberries, no thorns here.

The leaves of purple flowering raspberry are pretty beautiful too! Big and bold.

This is what the whole plant looks like. It does sucker a bit, so it can spread too much for a small garden, but I think I have a perfect spot for it.

This is an unusual hosta that I just love, Hosta clausa (Zone 3 – 8) which is unlike most hostas for many reasons. Instead of clumping, it spreads to make a ground-cover. And the flowers are intensely colored, and stay in these tight buds, never fully opening, for a long-lasting display in late summer when the shade garden needs a punch of color.

This is what a clump of Hosta clausa looks like in my friend’s garden. Such a great ground-cover.

The double form of our native Trillium grandiflorum (Zone 3 – 8) is a stunning flower… I’ve been wanting one for years, but it is slow to propegate, making it expensive and hard to find. But maybe this is the year I spring for one.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    simplesue 12/28/2023

    Wow I'v learned a lot from your wishlist posts for sun and shade.
    Never heard of Hosta clausa until you posted here- so unusual and I have tons of shade...this goes on my wishlist too!

  2. btucker9675 12/28/2023

    Yellow wood poppies!!!!!

  3. perenniallycrazy 12/29/2023

    Love all the choices presented. The Anemone Vestal and Trillium brings me back to my visits at The Gardens at HCP - they had beautiful carpets of them in the spring.

    I'll definitely be on the lookout for Hosta clausa! Thanks Joseph and FG! Wishing you all a happy new year!

  4. Tingshu99 12/29/2023

    I never heard of these plants before. They are very lovely. The first two are super cute. I will look for them next Spring. Thanks for sharing!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest