Sometimes shady gardens seem like a curse but there are many fun and exciting plants that can be used in this location. When looking at the sight it is important to think about shade gardens for one of their finest attributes, the potential to look like a peaceful woodland sanctuary! There are many perennials that will work well in this environment and many can be found in our shady perennial section at Hook’s Greenhouse. Remember shady plants will be listed on their tags as Part Sun / Part Shade which may be used interchangeably to mean 4 to 6 hours of sun each day, preferably in the morning and early afternoon. If a plant is listed as Part Shade, the plant will need some relief from the intense late afternoon sun. Dappled Sun is similar to partial shade.  It is the sun that makes its way through the branches of a deciduous tree.  Woodland plants prefer this type of sunlight. Full Shade is less than 3 hours of direct sunlight each day, with filtered sunlight during the rest of the day.  Full shade does not mean no sun at all, there are very few plants, except mushrooms, that can survive in the dark. Some great backround plants for the shade would be Dicentra or Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart and Helleborus ‘First Frost’. Dicentra grows 36’’ tall and bloom pink heart shaped blooms all in a row in early spring and loves dappled shade. Once bleeding hearts are finished blooming they tend to yellow out and look sad so planting this in the backround of your shady garden will allow other plants to take over the spotlight after this one is done.  It is important to not remove the leaves before they turns yellow or brown as it is storing food for next year. Helleborus has a very thick succulent looking flowers and leaves that the deer despise, it grows 15 inches tall and remains evergreen for the winter.   Helleborus or commonly known as Lenten Rose, can be a welcoming early spring bloomer, sometimes even blooming through snow! They are also deer resistant! Hosta ‘Rainbows End’ has a very unusual green on green variegation and is striking planted next to chartreuse leaf Heuchera ‘Pistachio’  and  white bottle brush flowered Tiarella ‘Cutting Edge’.  Hosta ‘Rainbow’s End’ can grow up to 10 inches tall and 21 inches wide, their bloom time occurs in the summer and is drought-tolerant once established. They are best grown in evenly moist soil in partial sun. They are more slug resistant than other hosta’s and they attract hummingbirds! Heuchera (Pretty Pistachio)is newer hybrid coral bells with chartreuse leaves that appear in early spring with a tight mounding habit. They can grow up to 10 inches tall and 32 inches wide and can produce large 5 inch wide clusters of medium pink flowers starting midsummer and onto early fall.  They also attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and are bee friendly and deer resistant.  Astilbe ‘Pumila’ and Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’ make a great partial sun border, full of seasonal color. Astilbe (Pumila) which requires partial to full shade and has beautiful pink flowers can grow up to 10 inches tall. They bloom in the late summer, they are a great front of the garden plant and have a slightly creeping habit that makes them a welcoming woodland ground cover. Average well drained soil is needed, they prefer humsy rich soil typically found under woodlands edge. These particular plants are bee friendly, deer and rabbit resistant, and they also attract butterflies. Tiarella ‘Cutting Edge’ is a great woodland perennial with a nice clumping habit, it blooms tall bottlebrush white flowers and can grow up to 10 inches tall and 18 inches wide. They bloom late spring or early summer and sometimes repeat blooms in the fall.  They are deer resistant and bee friendly. Pulmonaria ‘Raspberry Splash’ (Lung Wort) requires Partial to Full Shade. They can grow up to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide. These magnificent flowers bloom in the spring, with a raspberry pink colored flower and beautiful silvery variegated foliage. These plants are perfect for groundcover, they attract hummingbirds, are bee friendly and resistant to deer and rabbits. Stop in and check these plants out and many more SHADY PERENNIALS!!