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It may surprise you to find that it is easier to find plants that thrive in the sun than in the shade.

Especially if you live in the desert Southwest. Why is this, you may ask?

Well, it can be hard to find plants that can handle the intense, dry heat of our climate while flourishing in the shade. While there are a number of lovely plants that can work in shady conditions, it’s hard to know which ones will, which is why I make sure to include my favorites for students in my online gardening class.

So, what do you do if you have a shady spot to fill?

One of my favorites is Yellow Dot (Wedolia trilobata), which is a vining ground cover with lush, dark green leaves interspersed with yellow daisy-like flowers.
Here is a plant that does fabulously in dark shade and will handle brief periods of full sun. 
 
Yellow Dot grows quickly to 1 ft. high and 4 – 6 ft. wide and is hardy to 30 degrees. It’s susceptible to frost damage, which can be easily pruned back in spring.
One of my favorite characteristics of this lush green ground cover is that it has a long bloom period – spring through fall. 
 
It grows beautifully underneath trees, along pathways, and among boulders. You just want to be sure to allow enough room for them to spread.
 
So, if you have a difficult shady spot that needs a plant – try Yellow Dot.
 
How about you?  Do you have a favorite plant that does well in shady spots?  I’d love to hear about it!
I like to use plants in my garden that add a lot of color and the drought tolerant and beautiful, sandpaper verbena certainly doesn’t disappoint.



Its blossoms are a vibrant, deep purple that carpets the ground in a mass of glorious color spring through fall.


The deep green leaves add a visually cooling element to the landscape as well.


Butterflies find the flowers irresistible too.  


See where this colorful ground cover gets its name and why you’ll want to include it in your drought tolerant garden where it will add beauty to your outdoor space in my latest plant profile for Houzz.com



Yellow is a great color to include in the garden.  


Why?


Yellow-flowering plants will help the other colors in your garden to ‘pop’ visually because it provides great color contrast.


Damainita (Chrysactinia mexicana)

One of my favorite yellow-flowering plants is damianita, which blooms in spring and again in fall.



It thrives in hot, sunny, desert gardens, is drought-tolerant and is almost maintenance-free.

I love how it looks like ‘yellow clouds’ sitting on the ground when in bloom.  

For more information on damianita as well as a few other desert perennials that I like to use in desert landscapes, click here.

Do you like daisies?

I do.

Especially one that can handle the tough conditions often present in the desert garden. 

Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) thrives in full sun – even areas that receive hot, afternoon sun.  All while being drought-tolerant.

To find out more about this desert perennial and ideas on how to add it to your garden, check out my latest plant profile for Houzz.com.

Remodeling, decorating, and more ∨

From kitchens to the living room, window treatments add a finishing touch to any room in the house.
For small bathroom ideas, browse photos of space-saving bathroom cabinetry and clever hidden mirrored medicine cabinets.