Shade Perennials for your Walkway Path
Can you say “low-maintenance?” I hear it all the time, and I don’t blame you. Low maintenance is a must-have in any garden or along a walkway path, including perennials. Hellebores sit handsomely in the garden with their evergreen foliage and colorful single, semi-double, or double flowers in white or the many shades of reds, pinks, purples, and bicolors. You won’t be able to get enough of these alongside your walkway path once you start collecting. They bloom in the dead of winter into early spring when nothing else is peeping its head out yet. They are hardy from zones 4-9. The best part about these is that they like the shade where many other perennials don’t thrive well. Try them in a site with morning sun and afternoon shade with average, well-drained soil. Pluck their blooms off and float them in water face up for a mid-winter bouquet.
No garden should be without a Hosta. Here’s another variety you might start collecting. Hostas are perfect for growing in areas where you plant Spring bulbs. Once the spring bulbs have had their breakthrough Spring show, the hostas rise out of the ground to cover up the unsightly unraveling of the leftover greens on the bulbs. There is less to worry about when one plant works alongside the other, hiding debris’s shortcomings. They also come in a plethora of colors and sizes, from sweet miniatures to generous shrub sizes. Depending on the variety, they prefer shade to light shade. Site hostas in the morning sun and afternoon shade. Evenly moist soil that is well-drained and rich in compost will encourage vigorous growth. Division is easy and will make great neighbor gifts when you share them. Use their leaves as filler and backdrop for some blooming bouquets too.
Thanks to plant breeders vying for the best of the best, Heuchera, commonly called Coral bells, don’t disappoint. Instead, they are prized chiefly for their diverse foliage. You will have a kaleidoscope of colors in the garden with one of each! Grown mainly for their colorful foliage instead of their flowers, you will not be disappointed because they are evergreen and continue their display throughout all four seasons. Alongside the garden path is not just flowers anymore.
Add These Sun Lovers Between the Stepping Stones
Don’t we all need more thyme? While it’s a play on words, you will be propagating it and spreading it around the garden beds and walkway paths to enjoy. Offered in various colors and scents, clusters of red, pink, light purple, or white flowers accent the thyme. So there is never a lack of color. Creeping thyme is good for hillsides or used as a ground cover. It holds up to foot traffic alongside a walkway path or steps too. They are hardy to Zone 3-9, so take your pick and gather more thyme for your garden!
Ground covers are often called “living mulch,” and the expert designers tell us to fill every square inch of ground to cut down on mulching. Well, here’s a good one to use for that recommendation. Ajuga has green, bronze, purple and variegated leaves accented by either purple, blue, pink, or white flowers, typically no taller than 6-8 inches. It forms a dense, low carpet mass, quickly filling in any leftover ground not planted. It’s adaptable from full sun to full shade, making it easy to use in any lawn area. Using them between stepping stones is a nice fill-in. It adapts to foot traffic too.