Low maintenance flower beds are a key to good landscaping, as they add to the overall curb appeal without much labour. Partial-shade beds add a bit more difficulty in selecting the right plants, but while many believe shaded beds can be difficult, in truth they can provide a good opportunity to add variety.
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Evergreen and Groundcover
A perpetually growing bed with almost no maintenance that does well in the shade would incorporate evergreen varieties and groundcover to fill in larger spaces. Dwarf juniper will provide a bright green carpet of evergreen, mixed with mounds of creeping phlox you will have varied colour. A brilliant alternative would be sedum in the creeping red groundcover, which gives a bright red show, planted among clumps of blue Festuca grass, with its spiky mounds of blue green leaves.
There are standard perennials that do well in part shade with little maintenance. A good part shade bed could use a larger dark Hosta variety with clumps of astilbe, which blooms with bright colours in mid summer. This gives both depth and colour. Front this with a bank of leopard's bane that blooms in the spring for blooms through the entire growing season. Always place larger plants and flowers to the back, and intersperse colour with green plants. For a larger bed, you can also plant bleeding hearts to the back and front them with a bank of bright purple heuchera. This gives both flowering, height, and colour contrast.
Annuals do come in shade varieties and can be low maintenance, however they require replanting each year. Ageratum, lobelia and salvia are annuals that do well in part shade and bloom through the entire growing season with little care. Coleus is an ornate and brightly coloured plant whose foliage is the focal point. Violas and pansies are good spring annuals that love shade. Place these plants together in a bed in rows from tallest to shortest and leave them to grow your beautiful low maintenance flower bed.
Nature has a large number of part shade plants that require little maintenance. Mix trillium, a showy spring blooming plant, with red cardinal flower, a summer blooming variety with spikes of brilliant red flowers. Add in some clumps of Virginia bluebells for contrast, and you have a bed that resembles a woodland flower riot with little maintenance required on your part to enjoy the show.
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