Living amongst the neighbors in the city can provide a lot of shade, but a shade garden can be lush and full of variety, your own little forest hideaway. The University of Illinois Extension site offers up some Fabulous Foliage, many that are made for the shade!
Perennials: (many of these have varieties with leaf colors from deep to light greens, even bronze)
- Coral Bells
- Astilbe (feathery plumes in pinks and white)
- Foxglove (mostly a biennial, but sometimes they last a few years longer)
Perennials with Spring Blooms:
Annuals: (some large, some flowering and small)
- Caladium (beautiful leaves with whites, reds, greens, and pinks)
- Elephant Ears (large and tropical)
- Nasturtiums (love poor soil, vining or clumping with lily pad type leaves)
Perennial Ground Covers: (just remember that some of these can be invasive)
- Wild Ginger
- English Ivy
just be careful on the english ivy if you have a pet that likes to nibble…it’s very poisonous to dogs. Coco had a trip to the emergency vet that almost didn’t end well when I had english ivy in my containers!