Do you have a lot of shade in your garden? My shade garden actually exists very happily on the north side of the house between a stand of blue spruce pines we planted over 20-years ago to buffer the predominately winter northwesterly winds. Shade tolerant herbs and plants thrive equally well in my shade garden – with very little care on my part…an added bonus!
Here’s a list of a shade tolerant herbs/plants to consider:
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) – nice ground cover under trees; smells of freshly mown hay when crushed.
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) – beautiful in a perennial border.
Periwinkle (Vinca major or V. minor) – excellent choice for sloping ground as it binds well to the soil; purple flowers.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) – a perennial growing 2-3 feet; this plant is an easy keeper and could become invasive; leaves are good supplement for goats (great nitrogen source for the compost too); also used as poultice for sprains/bruises and to infuse oils for herbal salves.
Sweet Violet (Viola odorata) – sweet scent; violet or white flowers may be used for jelly; may become invasive as it self-seeds easily!!!
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) – dark purple flowers in the early spring.
Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii) – very fragrant; takes shade nicely, but not for culinary use.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) – herbaceous perennials with flowers appearing in April or May; self-sowing when left unattended.
Hostas – widely cultivated shade-loving ground cover plants of varying leaf shape and form.
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) – popular garden plant grown for its scented flowers and ground-covering abilities in shady locations. Some consider it a weed, as it can spread over a wide area and can be difficult to contain or remove.
There are also many native woodland plants that thrive in shady conditions. Do a little research before purchasing plants to understand their cultural needs – and you’ll be rewarded with a shade-loving garden too.