Purple Heucheras

When I think of ideal plants for a lovely shade garden, I immediately think of ferns and heucheras. They offer a form of motion and texture in the garden, that cannot be achieved otherwise.

Ferns

Ferns provide those long arching fronds that grace many Northwest gardens. While the Sword Fern owns its regal place among other natives, there are many other unique ferns to enjoy.

Tassel Ferns

This lustrous shiny leaf fern adds an elegant look to shaded gardens. Particularly beautiful when new fronds emerge stiffly, then droop backwards to form the tassel of its namesake. Beautiful in masses for groundcover, especially under flowering shrubs. Herbaceous perennial.

‘Bevis’ Soft Shield Fern

Outstanding for shady areas in the yard, these feathery, dark green fronds look tropical but are actually hardy! The perfect contrast to bold-leaved plants. The 'Bevis' Soft Shield Fern loves our cool woodland settings, adapting well to dry shade conditions when established. Semi-evergreen.

Heuchera

‘Cajun fire’

This forms a sturdy mound of gently-lobed leaves that are red in spring, turn black in summer and then maroon in fall. Sprays of white bell flowers on dark stems appear in June just above the foliage, but can be removed if desired. Excellent in the border, for edging, and in mixed containers. Foliage may be tidied up in spring by removing any withered or tired-looking leaves. Evergreen.

‘Forever Purple’

You know we had to include something purple! This Coral Bells is destined to become the new standard for purple leafed perennials. It forms a mound of glossy, purple leaves with fluted edges year round. Short sprays of purple-pink flowers appear in summer. Sturdy in habit and vigorous. Nice for borders, containers or rock gardens. Remove any winter-burned leaves in the spring, otherwise no pruning is required. Another fantastic Heuchera!

While some find shade gardens limiting, using many layers of foliage that provides both texture and color can create a cool summer oasis like no other.