Rarely do any of our clients make a beeline for the shade houses full of shade perennials. Instead, they linger as they stroll down the full-sun perennial Isles where blooms abound and cottage gardens are made.

But hey, we love Western North Carolina because of our shady mountain homes. So, cheer up! There’s plenty of gardening to be done in the shade, and really, who wants to sweat in the baking sun, anyway? 

Here’s a mini-slideshow of shade perennials that make gardening in the shade fun. Click on each picture to scroll through and read the description. The descriptions will pop up when you place your cursor on the picture and plants are identified by their common names in the header for ease of understanding. (Botanical names are listed with information on the plant.) If you’re looking for sun perennials, click here. Just want a fern garden, click here. Looking for groundcovers, click here. And bookmark these pages, as we’ll continually update. 

Note: What does shade mean? If it says full shade, that means high, open canopy light. (Not under your deck where conditions are cave-like.) If it says part shade, that means the plant does best in morning sun from 9-12 or 1, and needs protection from afternoon sun.   

This is a small sampling for shade gardeners. There are literally hundreds of wonderful plants to choose from. If you think everyone else is having all the fun in the sun, step into the woodland gardens of shade. You’ll never go back, and you’ll stay cool.

Written by Cinthia Milner, garden coach, blog writer.

BB Barns serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and Tennessee.