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Flowers and plants that succeed in brightening shady garden spots successfully

This weigela shrub from Southern Living Plant Collection boasts pale pink flowers and two-toned green leaves that brighten up even the shadiest of gardens.
This weigela shrub from Southern Living Plant Collection boasts pale pink flowers and two-toned green leaves that brighten up even the shadiest of gardens.
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Looking for some plants that will survive and beautify the shady part of your lawn or garden, but which will get at least a certain amount of sunlight each day? There is a wide selection of options available, especially to the Southern gardener, thanks to one particular plant company in the South. And it's called the Southern Living Plants Collection.

On June 18, the Atlanta Landscape Design Examiner checked out the current status of the North Georgia Trial Garden outfitted with these plants to see how they were faring in June, especially since many of the plants shown in the slideshow seen above were strategically placed in shady spots at this garden in order to see if they would survive with limited sunlight. Following is the result of her findings.

The Rainbow Sensation weigela, which has the soft-pink funnel-shaped blooms and the two-tone green leaves, struggled through the first year after a late-season planting. But it has taken off considerably since the early part of spring. And its soft-pink blooms set against the backdrop of pale and deep green leaves makes a striking presentation.

The Everillo Carex grass was all perky at first planting last summer, when the sun and heat were at full throttle, since this grass loves full sun to part shade. And, initially in the spring of this year, when the trees were bare of leaves and the sun was making its appearance in the South, it was just as vibrant. But now, with the leaves blocking most of the sunlight in the part of the garden where it was placed, one would think it would be faltering or dying; but it is not.

The Baby Gem boxwood shrub planted around the same time is situated to where it receives more sunlight and does not compete with any closer plants for soil nutrients, so it is also expanding and getting taller. It's green leaf color variation is only slight compared to the vivid differences exhibited in the weigela, but it is still a perfect addition to a shady garden that gets at least a little more sunlight. However, for the best results put it where it will receive full sun, according to Southern Living Plant Collection.

It is no surprise that the Southgate Grace rhododendron is thriving in its shady environ, since it is supposed to be planted in part-shade to complete shade anyway. And that could explain why it is growing by leaps and bounds compared to the weigela and the boxwood, even though they were planted around the same time frame and are still doing well.

You can start all of these plants in a small pot to be placed on your deck or patio, or as "pot ears" for your home entrance, moving them into larger pots as they grow, or until you decide where to put them in your garden. But eventually all, with the exception of the grass, will need to go into the ground. The grass seems to make an excellent presentation in the garden or the pot, never really getting too big for a container option.

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