Many of the worlds finest flower gardens can be found nestled at the foot, or feet, of a deciduous tree. Or more than likely under a small grove of such trees.
We like colors and textures in our dappled places, hosta are great backbone plants but it’s the boldness of begonia and impatiens among others that add zest and zing to those otherwise unattended places.
Astrantia Rosea, zone 4 perennial. Resembles papery pink pincushions on short stems above a mound of rounded, lobed leaves. After flowering, can be cut right back to produce a second flush of foliage and flowers. Attracts bees, butterflies.
Begonia, Santa Cruz Sunset, full sun-full shade, 12-16" tall, these are fantastic performers
Begonia, Waterfall, Encanto Orange-Red, mounding-trailing variety, 12-18" tall, part sun-part shade, will tolerate full sun in cool summer areas
Dicentra Spectabilis, Bleeding Heart. Zone 4 perennial. Early summer-flowering perennial with sprays of heart-shaped lovely pink and white flowers dangling from arching stems. Quite beautiful. This plant will normally go dormant after flowering and die back to the ground.
Digitalis, Polly, Foxglove. Zone 4, June-September, 24-36", named for its deep pink-apricot flowers. Each tubular flower opens to reveal a creamy white interior. Stems are good and strong for cutting. Hybrid foxglove is a particularly beautiful, long-flowering. True perennial foxglove.
Foxglove, Yellow, TRUE Perennial, May-June, 24-36", zone 4, hummingbirds love these. Blooms early spring - summer. Part sun - part shade.
Digilalis, Polkadot Petra, Foxglove. Zone 4 perennial, 24-36", soft-rose flowers. Each tubular flower opens to reveal a creamy white interior with mahogany speckles. A particularly beautiful, long-flowering, true perennial foxglove.
Geranium, Vision Violet, zone 3, May-July & September, 12-18", tough, long-blooming, low-growing perennial, bears a profusion of glowing purple-pink flowers in late spring into late summer, then sparsely thereafter. Cut back in mid-summer to encourage re-bloom.
Heuchera, Firefly, zone 3 perennial. Having evolved in dappled, damp, forests, heucheras are best grown in organically rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. If grown in full sun, consistent moisture is very important.
Nepeta, Blue Dreams, zone 3, June-August, 24" clusters of tubular bright-blue flowers appear through the summer, it flowers on long, fat bottlebrushes which stand upright, forms a bushy, upright mound of fragrant, glossy green leaves. Attracts butterflies.
Native New England Aster, zone 3, August-September, 36-48", asters are so lovely, ‘New England Aster’ is known for the large number of purple petals per blossom. ‘New England Aster’ likes moisture and soil that is not heavily acidic, it grows well in meadows and will adapt to a variety of soil conditions. Attracts bees, butterflies.
Primrose, Bulleesiana, zone 3 perennial, 16-18" tall. Candelabra-type primulas are moisture-loving perennials grown for their colorful display of fragrant flowers during June-July and are arranged in tiers on tall, upright stems. This species features a wide range of pastel shades. Gorgeous in bloom.
Primula, Denticulata, Ronsdorf Strain. zone 2, mid-April into May, 8-12", primula denticulata is among the most handsome and striking of the primula family, the perfectly shaped, spherical heads floating atop wand-like stems are always a welcome sign of spring. Gorgeous in bloom. EARLY!
Primula, Florindae, Keilour Hybrids. Zone 3, June-July, Very showy fragrant flower clusters sway atop thin-wiry stems. Slowly expanding clumps give a spectacular display with multiple flowering stems. Gorgeous in bloom!
Primula, Japonica, Deluxe Mix. Zone 4, May-July, 18-20", Candelabra primulas are moisture-loving perennials forming a rosette of leaves, with erect stems each carrying several whorls of flowers. Gorgeous in bloom!
Vinca Minor, Illumination, zone 5 perennial, sun-shade, 3-6" tall, nice trailing/spreading variety, makes a nice, brightly colored ground cover in sun or shade.