The RainyDayGarden, like many other gardens, have both sunny and shady sections. We are constantly experimenting with "what will grow where" and the results are sometimes surprising. Plants which will do well in one area may not be as vigorious when moved to a different section, but many will adapt just fine. To get more colors in our shadier sections, we are constantly testing new flowering plants there in hopes that they would take. There is one section which has vexed us for many years, but we think we have finally found a good combination of plants for the patch.
This one section gets very bright sunlight during the latter part of the day, but for the mornig and the hour or so after high noon it is covered in partial shade due to the shadow from the building. When it does get sun, it is too bright for hostas and ferns. However, there is not enough daylight for "true" sun loving plants. We have been experimenting with different species, but the irises and day lillies seem to do quite well. We have one clematis which does manage to flower, but it is nowhere near its full potential if it was planted in full sun. Last year we introduced some spiderworts to the mix. They came back this Spring and are doing quite well. The Lamb's Ear are also making a go of it.
There is a section right against the building which never gets any direct sunlight. The hostas and ferns love this area. It can get a little bit dry for the ferns, but they have learned to adapt over the past few years and have firmly established themselves. We love looking directly down and seeing the clumps of different color greens from above.
If you have a light-challenged area in your garden, take some of your favorites from a brighter area and transplant them to the shadier section. If they survive, then see how you can help them grow a bit better (a little more plant food, a bit more water, etc...). You might be reward with colors in sections of your garden where you think may not support such growth. [Permalink] - Irises and ferns