Here are some of my favourite colours of the shade garden in late May. I love the combination of blue and white flowers in spring, with silver leaves to showcase them. If the overflow of the photos are hidden at a smaller resolution, just click them to see the full picture.
Above are some of the blue perennial flowers of spring, bringing a bit of the sky into the garden and making the beds a little more serene. On the upper left is the beautiful sky blue of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian bugloss). Three established, large plants of these can produce a square metre (around a square yard) of airy blue flowers. On the upper right are the pretty light blue flowers of Muscari azureum (grape hyacinth) bulbs. The flowers over the spotted leaves are Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’ (lungwort). They emerge pink, but quickly turn this bright blue shade. The fern fronds behind make a good background for them.
Silver leaves are my favourite with blue and white flowers. The steely tones pull together the cooler coloured blooms, and show them off . The top left picture is of Athyrium niponicum (Japanese painted fern), with its first silvery green frond. These ferns are slow to come up in my garden in spring. On the top right is the silver grey foliage of Pulmonaria ‘Samourai’. The bottom of the picture shows the king of shade foliage, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. The exquisite silver and green pattern make this my favourite leaf. The silver colours of these perennials add an extra glow in the shady areas of the garden.
White flowers are a stand out in the darker areas of the garden. On the upper left of the above picture are the white flowers of Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’ when they first open. As the flowers of these bulbs age, they turn pink. These are in a part shade location, so I’m not sure how they’ll return next year. On the upper right are the sweetest smelling Conavallaria majalis (lily of the valley) flower bells. The garden is full of this wonderful scent right now. Along the bottom of the photo are the pure white flowers of Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot). This perennials bloomed briefly, but shone while they were out. Another white woodland flower coming out now is the Trillium grandiflorum (great white trillium).
This image shows some purple leaves and flowers. On the upper left are the newly opening Syringa vulgaris ‘Wedgewood Blue’ (lilac) flowers. These blooms get more blue as they develop. If you’re wondering why the lilac flowers are drooping, it’s because I had just shook off the wet snow that bent the branches over. The top right perennial is Heuchera ‘Mint Frost’, which has green and silver leaves for most of the summer, but includes lots of purple and red shades in the cold. With our colder late May temperatures, they have lots of colour in them still. On the bottom of the picture is the intense silvery purple foliage of Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’. It is another super foliage plant.
My favourite colours are repeated in groups around the different shady garden beds. What are your favourite garden colours for late spring?