Northern Shade Gardening

Shady Garden with Blue White and Pink Flowers

Saturday, July 10, 2010 Category: Garden Design
patio west Heucherella Campanula and planter

patio west Heucherella Campanula and planter

Here is a shady garden bed with blue, pink and white flowers that I recently rearranged. It gets some morning sun for a short while, and then some dappled shade. There are perennials in the border, and a pot of annuals on the corner that blends right in. Since I planted the container first, I might have got the colour scheme for the perennial bed from it.

Heucherella 'Tapestry' and Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue'

Heucherella 'Tapestry' and Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue'

The pink flowers are Heucherella ‘Tapestry’ (foamy bells). This perennial is a cross between Heuchera (coral bells) and Tiarella (foamflower), showing some of the best traits for both. It has beautiful leaf markings, but the flowers are much showier than most Heuchera. The Heucherella like more light than Heuchera. ‘Tapestry’ is  new to my garden this year. I’m very taken with these beautiful plants, and hope that they are hardy. I’ll definitely be planting more of them.

Update: These Heucherella overwintered just fine, and still look great.

Heucherella 'Tapestry' foamy bells leaves

Heucherella 'Tapestry' foamy bells leaves

The leaves of this Heucherella remind me of the foliage of Heuchera ‘Green Spice’ (coral bells), with a green background and dark purple coloured veins. These plants are very attractive. I have some Heuchera with all purple leaves in another part of the garden, and I think ‘Tapestry’ would make a good bridge between them and other green plants if planted next to them.

Heucherella 'Tapestry' foamy bells flower

Heucherella 'Tapestry' foamy bells flower

Here is a closeup of the gorgeous pink flower spikes of ‘Tapestry’. They are thick stalks with very noticeable flowers, in a pretty pink colour. The blooms also last a long time, over six weeks already. You could grow ‘Tapestry’ for the flowers alone, even if they didn’t have decorative leaves. In the background is a Colocasia leaf in the planter with pink and blue flowers.

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue' flowers

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue' flowers

The little blue flowers in the garden bed are Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Bavaria Blue’ (fairy thimble bellflowers). I also have these perennials in another garden section, and added them here for a little more blue colour. With a multitude of tiny blooms, these dwarf bellflowers are colourful and charming.

Campanula portenschlagiana 'Blue Waterfall' flowers by Heucherella

Campanula portenschlagiana 'Blue Waterfall' flowers by Heucherella

Another dwarf bellflower in this garden bed is Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Blue Waterfall’ (Serbian bellflower). The flowers are just opening, but there are lots more buds to bloom soon. The pretty stars of this Campanula bloom in rows all along the flower stems, which mostly radiate out in sprays along the  ground. This was already planted at the front corner, and you can see how short it is, by the Heucherella towering over it behind.

Actaea ramosa 'Atropurpurea' with Heucherella 'Tapestry'

Actaea ramosa 'Atropurpurea' with Heucherella 'Tapestry'

The tall plant in the middle is Actaea ramosa ‘Atropurpurea’ (bugbane, used to be Cimcifuga). It will grow two metres (six feet) in height by late summer, and will have beautiful tall spikes of cream coloured flowers, high above the other plants. It coordinates well with the Heucherella, because both of them have purple on their leaves. ‘Tapestry’ has conspicuous purple in a pattern along the veins of the leaf, and this Actaea has subtle purple edges to the leaves, as well as purple stems.

Actaea racemosa with Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue'

Actaea racemosa with Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue'

The photo above shows Actaea racemosa (bugbane) with Campanula flowers underneath. This Actaea also has cream flower wands over 2 metres (6 feet) tall, and was already planted here.  Bugbanes make great plants for some height in a shady garden. I find the scientific naming of Actaea a little confusing, and it might be that these are actually the same. They were switched from Cimicifuga, which is straightforward, but I see ‘Atropurpurea’ listed as a cultivar for both of these species and they look very much alike. You can see photos of Actaea flowering in my garden.

Osmunda regalis royal fern

Osmunda regalis royal fern

In between are two Osmunda regalis (royal ferns) in the spotlight above. The fronds of this fern are a light green, which gives them a little glow next to darker leaves. Some lighter coloured foliage show up well in a shady garden. Both of the sections above belong to one plant. The second fern  is behind and can’t really be seen in this photo. This one was originally planted in back, because I thought it would grow taller, so I moved it forward to better enjoy the foliage.

Osmunda regalis royal fern with Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue'

Osmunda regalis royal fern with Campanula cochlearifolia 'Bavaria Blue'

Osmunda regalis has a bit of a shrub appearance. These are supposed to grow quite tall, but don’t get beyond 60 cm (2 feet) tall in my garden. They probably need a longer growing season to reach their full height, or perhaps a warmer climate. One thing they really like is water. They make nice garden plants, even if they don’t get to two metres (6 feet) in my garden. Now that I’ve moved this one to the front of the bed, I hope it doesn’t put on a growth spurt after five years.

Begonia 'Non-Stop Pink' lobelia colocasia esculenta

Begonia 'Non-Stop Pink' lobelia colocasia esculenta

The planter in the corner has a tall Colocasia esculenta (elephant ear) in the middle. There are Begonia ‘Non-Stop Pink’ putting on a good floral show around it with their double flowers, as well as some pink double Impatiens, and blue Lobelia cascading over the edge.

Begonia 'Non-Stop Pink' and lobelia planter

Begonia 'Non-Stop Pink' and lobelia planter

Here is a closeup of the lovely double begonia flowers. They don’t mind the shade, and seem to thrive in the extra water that the Colocasia gets.

Colocasia esculenta elephant ear plant

Colocasia esculenta elephant ear plant

This closeup of the Colocasia esculenta leaf shows the wonderful leaf texture and size. If there is anything better than a nice big leaf, it’s a big wet leaf in the rain. It makes an umbrella for the begonia, one of which is peeking out to see if the rain has stopped.

patio west Heucherella 'Tapestry' and pot

patio west Heucherella 'Tapestry' and pot

This garden bed in part shade has pink and blue flowers, and there will be white from the Actaea in late summer. Continuing along, just to the north of this section, is a Philadelphus (mockorange) shrub with white blooms, while to the south are some Lamprocampnos spectabilis ‘Alba’ (bleeding hearts, used to be Dicentra) with white flowers. You can see a few of the bleeding heart flowers still left at the back of the photo above. I used to have some daylilies where the Heucherella are, but it is more shaded now, and they weren’t doing as well. I instantly liked the new arrangement in the shady garden, as soon as it was finished.

33 Responses to “Shady Garden with Blue White and Pink Flowers” »

  1. Marie :
    July 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Beautiful flowers :)

  2. Northern Shade :
    July 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Marie, thanks, I like the pink and blue together.

  3. Rosey :
    July 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I neglected to plant Begonias this year. Yours are so pretty! I like this container planting you created.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Northern Shade :
    July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Rosey, I ended up planting double begonias in all of my pots this year. They have lots of flowers now, and are all putting on a good show.The ‘Non Stop’ are one of my favourites.

  5. The Garden Ms. S :
    July 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Your Heucherella ‘Tapestry’ fits in perfectly with its new “friends”. :) Tapestry’s colours seem to pull everybody together. Very pretty!

  6. Northern Shade :
    July 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    The Garden Ms. S, I immediately liked ‘Tapestry’ there, and really like this section, now. I might plant one more taller plant behind, but the two Actaea just about fill the space at the back.

  7. Barbara :
    July 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Your shady garden bed is very, very nice with all these various flowers. I like the combination of ferns with campanulas. I wonder whether there aren’t any hungry slugs in your shady garden. Here I couldn’t plant small campanulas…they would probably grow a few days only.

  8. Northern Shade :
    July 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Barbara, I’m lucky not to have a slug problem yet. It is unfortunate that you can’t grow the dwarf Campanula, since they have such pretty flowers. I like them with the light green ferns, too.

  9. Sweetbay :
    July 13, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Beautiful combination, both in colors and form. I did not know that Royal Fern was so cold-hardy. It lends a wonderful lacy component to your composition. ‘Tapestry’ is lovely!

  10. Northern Shade :
    July 13, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Sweetbay, the royal fern has been hardy for five years, however it hasn’t grown much in size. Last winter was tough on plants in this area, but it came through fine. It is always the last plant to come up in spring in my garden, but it keeps the fronds past the first mild frosts in fall.

    Marnie, my Campanula are all growing in some form of shade. It’s possible that some might have more flowers with more sun, but they all do well. Most of them handle medium shade fine.

  11. Marnie :
    July 13, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Absolutely lovely. I always admire your campanula when visiting here. I never have luck with campanula, perhaps because I try to grow it in full sun and clay soil. A redesign of one of my shady beds is underway now and will definitely have a variety of campanula.

  12. Diane :
    July 14, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Those dwarf bellflowers are lovely. Great photos!

  13. Northern Shade :
    July 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Diane, the C. cochlearifolia have a very clear light blue colour, that I really like. They bloom fairly heavily in part shade, too.

  14. quu :
    July 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    What a shady corner you have – very lovely indeed! :) ‘Tapestry’ is so beautiful Heucherella and it also a newcomer in my garden too. :)

  15. Northern Shade :
    July 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Quu, I like the Heucherella ‘Tapestry’ plants a lot when I saw the leaves, and then when they bloomed with those showy pink flowers I was very pleased. They have been flowering for quite a while now, too.

  16. Mariana :
    July 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Hoppas du inte har något emot att jag skriver på svenska(tar för lång tid att skriva på engelska för mej)
    Gillar dom blå Campanula.
    Har en Heuchera med liknande blad med rosa små blommor den ska jag använda i en brudbukett som jag ska binda i helgen till en vän.

  17. Northern Shade :
    July 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Marina, the Heuchera flowers would look beautiful in a wedding bouquet, and your friend will appreciate it.

    The blue Campanula are some of my favourite plants. I have different Campanula in many areas around the garden, and love their pretty bells.

  18. Rebecca @ In The Garden :
    July 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    What beautiful combinations! Your big wet leaf is stunning & the little blue fairy thimbles are just too cute for words, I have a few but would really like a border of them one day. You are lucky to not have slugs, I have far too many and they wreck havoc on tender plants.

  19. Northern Shade :
    July 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Rebecca, my other section of fairy thimbles increased in size fairly quickly, so you might end up with a border, as they spread and you divide them. I love the tropical look of the Colocasia in the rain, which I’ve seen frequently lately, since we’ve been having thunderstorms most days.

  20. Catherine :
    July 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    This post has inspired me to do a little plant moving! Now I want to go out and start digging right now :) I have some Heucherellas and Acateas that have just been “plopped” into some open spots earlier this year, but now I know exactly where I want to move them. I love the greens and purples together. I may have to look for the fairy thimbles just for the name alone.

  21. Northern Shade :
    July 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Catherine, I was pleased with the Actaea and Heucherella together. I just picked up some Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’, and I’m going to add them just outside of the photo I showed, on the other side of the bellflowers.

    You wouldn’t want your garden fairies to accidentally poke themselves with a needle, so I do advice getting some of the fairy thimbles. Plus the little blue bellflowers are so cute.

  22. debsgarden :
    July 17, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Gorgeous combination of plants! I really like the heucherella Tapestry. I will definitely plant it in my garden if I can find it!

  23. Northern Shade :
    July 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Debsgarden, I’d like to plant another group of ‘Tapestry’, too. It has a great combination of wonderful foliage and decorative flowers.

  24. Linda :
    July 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Pink, blue (and white) are my favorite colors for a shade garden. I love your choice of flowers and the Royal fern. Haven’t seen the Heucherella tapestry before; I’ll be on the look out for my garden.

  25. Northern Shade :
    July 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Linda, I haven’t seen any other Heucherella ‘Tapestry’ around here, so I might have to wait until next season to get more. The royal fern was mostly hidden before, and now it shows well at the front edge.

  26. Barbara :
    July 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Like the shot of the Actea & the Campanula – pretty the blue through the lace. H. ‘Tapestry’ has been a real little soldier for me – think yours is looking much more handsome – perhaps more sunlight is in order – and now that the neighbours have taken down their tree (sigh) I think I know where I’ll plant it.

  27. Northern Shade :
    July 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Barbara, Campanula are great for underplanting tall perennials. I like the blue colour weaving around other plants. Tapestry is quickly becoming one of my favourites, and the long blooming time is a real bonus.

  28. Lori :
    September 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Hi, I’m now inspired to create a shade garden in my shady spot. I’ll be creating the flower beds for the first time, do you have any advice as to what type of soil I should put there? I really like the ferns, lily of the valley, and Tapestry, (also the annuals begonia and impatiens) so I want to create a soil that they will do well in. Thank-you in advance!!

  29. Northern Shade :
    September 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Lori, if you don’t have lots of organic matter in the soil already, like decaying leaves, etc, the plants would appreciate some added compost, or other organic matter. I haven’t found these plants to be too fussy, though.

    I didn’t mention in the post that I also have some Muscari ‘Blue Spike’ (Blue Spike grape hyacinth) bulbs planted here, too. They provide short, showy blue flowers in the spring, before the other plants are flowering, so you get an even longer season of bloom. I have them planted in groups, in between the perennials, and they time share the space, since the bulb foliage dies back as the other plants grow.

    It’s September, and this garden area is still looking good. We haven’t had frost yet, so the tuberous begonias and double impatiens are still blooming. ‘Tapestry’ has a few blooms still too, as do the Campanula portenshlagiana. The Campanula cochlearifolia have a good number of blue flowers going strong. The tall Actaea have buds to look forward to, if we don’t get a hard frost too soon. With the Muscari in spring, and Actaea in late fall, the garden flowers for a long time.

    If you like Heucherella ‘Tapestry’, you would probably like another related perennial I added at the edge of the bed, Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’. They have similar leaves, with decorative colour patterns on them, and lots of pinkish white flowers spikes. ‘Sugar and Spice’ has been blooming for a long time too.

    Good luck with your new shade garden.

  30. Plants Pages :
    November 6, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I liked how you have organised your garden. Colors really give a different feel and ambiance. And I like the way you have captured the essence in your photos.. Good.

  31. Northern Shade :
    November 6, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Sunu, colours really help to set the mood of a garden. I liked the pink and blue scheme in this shady area, along with the Heuchera and ferns for foliage.

  32. Conrad :
    March 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    After reading your post I will have to dig up some more area for those Heuchera & Painted Ferns

  33. Northern Shade :
    March 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Heuchera and Tiarella are great for a part shade or shady area. The leaves look fresh and decorative through the seasons, while some of them have very pretty flowers. Heucherella ‘Tapestry’ looks good with many other shady plants, including the ferns and Campanula (bellflowers).

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