Enjoy a long-lasting flower display by combining hydrangeas, roses, lilacs, and more.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated December 23, 2020
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A spot in your yard that gets at least a few hours of sun a day is the perfect place for this easy-care, summer-blooming shade garden plan. It's full of beautiful, low-maintenance, flowering shrubs and perennials that appreciate a little protection from the strongest solar rays, but do need some bright light to produce their best blooms. Several types of hydrangeas, sweetly scented lilacs, and tough shrub roses form the backbone of this design, while dainty perennial geraniums, elegant irises, and feathery astilbes fill in the spaces in between. Together, they'll create a colorful floral display you'll never get tired of.

easy-care summer shade garden plan
Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Easy-Care, Summer-Blooming Shade Garden Plan

  • 6 Hydrangea (Light-O-Day): Zones 5-9
  • 8 Hydrangea (Endless Summer Blushing Bride): Zones 5-9
  • 4 Shrub rose (Rosa Little Mischief): Zones 4-9
  • 2 Dwarf mock orange (Philadelphus ‘Miniature Snowflake’): Zones 4-8
  • 9 Perennial geranium (Rozanne): Zones 4-8
  • 6 Siberian iris (Iris sibirica ‘Sky Wings’): Zones 3-9
  • 4 Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Prairie Sky’): Zones 4-9
  • 2 Lilac (Syringa Tinkerbelle): Zones 3-7
  • 1 Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’): Zones 5-9
  • 5 Hydrangea (Endless Summer): Zones 4-9
  • 3 Astilbe ('Snowdrift'): Zones 3-9

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Easy-Care, Summer-Blooming Shade Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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