Hellebores are so easy and so pretty, they have a place in nearly every landscape. Their exquisite bowl- or saucer-shape flowers in white (often speckled), pinks, yellows, or maroon remain on the plant for several months, even after the petals have fallen. Deer-resistant and mostly evergreen, hellebores' divided leaves rise on sturdy stems and may be serrated (like a knife) along the edges. Grow hellebores in shade where soil remains moist; some hellebores prefer acid or alkaline conditions, depending on variety.
Turn that shady spot into a restful, green landscape by planting wood ferns. Although some ferns can be picky, wood ferns are tough, adaptable, medium-size woodland ferns with bold texture. Some species are evergreen and others are deciduous. Other common names include shield fern and buckler fern. Like most ferns, it needs rich, moist, humus-rich soil with plenty of water.
Yellow Wax Bells
A perennial with a shape and stems reminiscent of a woody shrub, yellow wax bells are named for their pretty late-summer flowers. The plant’s pendulous clusters of yellow pearl-size buds open into dainty, nodding bells. When the flowers are not in bloom, its maple-like leaves are a great backdrop for other shade-garden plants. Though it’s not a common plant, it’s easy to grow and pest-resistant, and deserves a home in almost any shade garden.