Combine Silver and Blue for Striking Results in Shade

By Kerry Ann Mendez

With summer in full swing, our attention often turns to shade gardens in an effort to escape the sweltering heat.

If you're looking to light up a shady section of your yard, I invite you to think beyond blooms and add plants that boast silvery foliage. Silver is a magical color in shade - it reflects the limited amount of sunlight and appears to glow. Combining silver with frosty blue leaves results in an elegant composition. To make the arrangement even more striking, vary foliage sizes and shapes.

The following are a few sample combos:

Fothergilla 'Blue Shadow' underplanted with Lamium 'Purple Dragon' - 'Blue Shadow' has fragrant, bottlebrush white flowers in spring, followed by blue leaves that turn red, orange, and yellow in fall.

Brunnera 'Sterling Silver' paired with Dicentra 'King of Hearts' -'King of Hearts' is a fern-leaved bleeding heart with blue-green foliage and bright rosy, heart-shaped flowers spring through summer. There are also other cultivars similar to 'King of Hearts'.

Japanese Painted Fern 'Ghost' next to Hosta 'Blue Angel' - 'Ghost's feathery silver fronds are a stunning contrast to 'Blue Angel's massive, blue puckered leaves and pale lavender to white flowers.

Carex 'Blue Zinger' planted with Asarum 'Quicksilver' - 'Blue Zinger's slender blue blades dance gracefully with 'Quicksilver's shiny, arrowhead-shaped, silver mottled leaves.

Hopefully these combinations have spiked your interest in the amazing plant choices for part shade to shade. We can show you many more striking plants when you visit Estabrook's in Yarmouth or Kennebunk.