Flowers For Sun – Foliage For Shade

Yellow and orange dominate this early August flower border.

Caladiums planted in mass at the Southern Living border at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Hosta massed and coming into bloom in the shady part of the Southern Living border at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

This summer’s weather has many ornamental plants showing off. This is so true of the yellow coneflowers and the orange tithonia in my flower border. The coneflowers are seedlings of Rudbeckia “Goldsturm” that I planted in the border last year to increase the amount of late summer color. The tithonia I bought as a transplant this spring, and it is now about four feet tall and blooms constantly if I keep the old blooms cut off. If you do not want seedings of the spent blossoms of this years crop of coneflowers, simply remove the stalks as they finish blooming.
If you don’t have sun there are beautiful massings of shade loving foliage plants in part of the Southern Living border at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This border has a mix of sun and shade and is lush and colorful now. The masses of hostas with the occasional spikes of white blooms transition to blue salvias in the sun with other mixed annuals and perennials, and then transitions back into masses of colorful caladiums in the shade at the other end of the border. This border is at its prime now and deserves a visit.
So whether you want flowers that bloom in the sun or foliages that brighten the shade in August, now is the time to look at what works to plan for next year.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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