20 colorful plants for shade gardens

Plant some of these beauties for great garden color, even in shade

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Meadow rue

Meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum ‘Lavender Mist’) 

Puffs of small lavender-blue flowers and lacy green leaves that resemble those of columbine make this perennial superb as an airy counterpoint among bolder plants; we love it beside ‘Star Gazer’ hydrangea. And its delicate tracery of leaves and flowers is especially effective against a backdrop of dark green foliage.

Meadow rue thrives in the dappled shade of woodland gardens, and blooms in early summer.

Zones 2–10, 14– 17.

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