This shade-loving combo adds color to any entry.
Shady Container
Credit: Ralph Anderson

If you've ever struggled with what to plant in an area that receives uneven light (and missed waterings), try a container. "Use evergreen foliage to create a base that will look good for years, and fill voids with annual color as seasons change," says Pinkie Chace, a designer at Oak Street Garden Shop in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Before adding potting soil, Pinkie puts empty plastic bottles halfway up the pot to save on soil. "At planting, work in a tablespoon of Osmocote Flower & Vegetable Smart-Release Plant Food, and supplement with a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks if you add annuals. Trim plants as needed to keep size in check."

Try a Monochromatic Color Scheme
Monochromatic color schemes like the one at left are all the rage, and our pairing is practical too. White and variegated leaves stand out best against a dark house color and let you enjoy the plants more at night.

Planting Evergreens
Begin with a white container that's filled almost full of premoistened soil. Add a cast-iron plant, 'Moonlight' caladiums, 'Dazzler White' impatiens, silver ribbon fern, asparagus fern, Korean rock fern, and variegated creeping fig.

Display Tips
Use this combination alone on a side table, or try a grouping of several white containers.