Here are 2 shade perennials in my garden that bloom with white flowers for spring, Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ (white bleeding heart) and Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley). Both of these do very well in a cold northern climate. They are old fashioned, easy care plants, that are still charming.
My D. spectabilis ‘Alba’ is a medium sized perennial with light green attractive foliage. In zone 3, in the shade, the foliage lasts until frost. This bleeding heart has all white flowers which are very pretty. They dangle in a row from the underside of a branch. The white hearts near the main stem are fully open now, with the bead below, but the flowers on the end of the stalk are still dangling down like Solomon’s seal flowers.
Here are the Convallaria in their favourite setting of dappled shade. The scent of lily of the valley is a sure sign that spring is well under way. Their pretty white bells dangle down the stalks, and light up the shade. Although they like to spread, I find them easy to pull if they grow too close to other perennials, but I wouldn’t plant them next to small delicate woodland flowers. They look charming under taller perennials. I think they mix well under shrubs, or with taller ferns and astilbe, which hold their own. In large enough groups, you don’t even have to bend down to sniff them. The wonderful smell hangs in the air.
I love walking by the west side of my garden right now, with the heady scent in the air. Now that the willow tree is leafing out, I enjoy the dappled patterns it is casting on these plants. The shadows will grow larger as the willow leaves fully expand.
Even common perennials bring beauty to the garden.