TheGardenLady received this question from Kevin:

I have a very small front area,very small,2’x25′ with very little sun.  I was thinking about some kind of ornamental grass for height and some other colorful flowers. Any ideas?

For a shaded, narrow, long garden, foliage interest might be what you are looking for. Hostas are definitely a plus for any shade garden.  Hostas have many leaf sizes. They are designated as tiny, dwarf, small, medium, large and giant. The leaves have a broad range of different green  colors-some of the leaves are yellowish and blueish as well as dark or light green or white with green, etc.- to make an interesting cool color palette. Many hostas send up flowers that are butterfly attractants and are fragrant. The hostas used to be considered in the lily family because of the flowers.  Check out the Hosta Library site for all the different hostas.  Or look at another Hosta website.

The Hosta Society webpage shows what a line of hostas could look like in your garden.

Also consider ferns for your garden. The leaf forms of ferns are very pretty and delicate to add more interest to your cool garden.  See here.

Instead of grasses, consider using sedges in your garden. Two sedges that you might find interesting are Carex hachijoensis-Evergold sedge and Carex morrowii – Ice Dance sedge. Both will add colorful interest to your shade garden.

Another suggestion is to plant Fine Line Rhamnus frangula, a Buckthorn. This Buckthorn grows in a narrow columnar form that might fit within the parameters of your garden. The sedges and the Buckthorn are sold by a company called  Proven Winners. Check out this site. 

All of the above are perennials.

If you want flowers to add to the greens you will need more light than green plants need. If you have light consider impatiens for summer bloom. In most areas impatiens are annuals.   See here.

Hope these suggestions are helpful. If you use any of these suggestions please send TheGardenLady a photo of your garden.

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