On CBC’s Fresh Air yesterday I mentioned some of my favourite shade perennials. Here’s the list:

Forthergilla gardenii great little shrubs with white spring bottlebruch blooms. For some great shade plants, choose from this list of natives:

Woodland poppy (very hard to find but worthwhile);  Aquilegia canadensis; wild ginger (see below); Panax quinquefolius; Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza longistulis); Podophyllum peltatum the Mayapple and watch how this is identified in the nursery;  Caulophyllum thalictroides; and Gaulthereia procumbens for a ground cover with winter interest.

Watch who you buy this stuff from. Go to a nursery that specializes in native plants and make sure they aren’t ripping them out of the wild.

Asarum canadense is a native groundcover easy to control; there’s also A. europeum which is more elegant, shiny leaves which I happen to like even better.

Non-native beauties:

Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’ has a gorgeous silver  foliage and bright blue flowers in spring

Hostas:   there are so many great cultivars, that you should research them carefully. Take the tag sizes seriously and make a tapestry pattern out of them. Don’t get lumped with 10 all of the same kind in that landscaper look.

I also mentioned Eco-Lawn which is a grass substitute I’m crazy about. It’s easy to apply, grows quickly and stay a soft shaggy presence. You mow once a year.

And I talked about Nematodes. This is a live culture which you can spread around (follow the instructions) when the temperatures are right. They explode the systems of grubs and will keep animals from digging up your garden and lawn.

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