(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 13, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

Bear's Breeches

I first saw this shade-loving plant in the tropics but it can be grown in many colder areas as well. This plant loves shade in most areas and moist, rich soil. Thank you to chetnmary for the image.


This is among the easiest and simplest plants to grow in the garden. The fern-like leaves will be crowned once or twice a year with crown of flowers in many colors, from white to red, yellow, orange, browns, and pink. They are stunning in the garden and very carefree. They are not bothered by pests and spread slowly into the rest of the garden. Thank you to arsenic for the image.

ImageAfrican Lily

Agapanthus are also called Lily of the Nile. They are a stunning plant with strong big strap-like leaves. They are to be found in large and small sizes, both being crowned in the summer with wonderful blue or white flowers. The leaves stay evergreen in the growing area and it loves to have moist, but not wet, soil. Thank you to Kell for the image.

ImageDusty Miller

This simple plant can be found at most garden centers in the spring. They will live for several years and bloom wonderful yellow blooms. They prefer lean soil, and will not grow if given too much sun or too rich a soil. These plants are grown more for the color of the leaves than the blooms and the white to gray tones of the leaves are striking in the garden. Thank you to yvana for the image.


The simple aster has many American natives that can be grown in the garden. I have planted asters in the garden and this wildflower will not spread quickly into other areas. Natives and non natives normally bloom in the late summer to early fall. The plants can be covered in simple blooms and they make a powerful impact in the garden. Thank you to frostweed for the image.

ImageButterfly Weed

This simple to grow plant will grow in almost any garden with moist soil. They will thrive and keep butterflies coming to your garden. This is a very trouble free plant that will stay in the same place for year and years. The biggest downfall is the fact that the plants are last to come up in the spring and thus many a impatient gardener may cut into and destroy this plant by forgetting it is there or thinking the plant is dead. Thank you to htop for the image.


This is a wonderful and bold plant for the garden. With roots in both the garden and the wild, this is the single most used plant in gardens today. The stiff leaves hold the coneflowers up high in the garden. The newer colors in the garden include the colors yellow, orange, white, green, and red, along with the common pink. This is the plant that will take the most abuse in the garden and still come back year after year. Thank you to frostweed for this image.


This is the lady of the shade garden. It is a simple plant with simple roots that can now be found in most shade gardens. The flowers come in every color under the sun and many mixes of the colors as well. This plant needs shade but loves dry soil in the shade, making it a dream in a lot of gardens. This plant will keep coming back and take a lot of abuse. It is the perfect garden plant. Thank you to LilyLover_UT for this image.


If you want thousands and thousands of blooms, you need to plant a bed of tickseed. This plant can take adverse conditions and lean, poor soils without blinking. It will bloom in the heat of summer and will reseed itself in any open garden spot it can find. There is nothing that can stop tickseed once it is established in your garden. It will be there faithfully year after year. Thank you to frostweed for the image.

ImageShasta Daisy

A simple pleasure and a clean color are the hallmarks of the Shasta Daisy. This plant will form a mat over time that will keep blooming in the spring to early summer. This flower is great for cutting and loves to grow in almost any garden. Shasta Daisies even take my Texas summer sun without blinking - in my book a great and easy to grow plant. Thank you to TamiMcNally for this image.