Rely on hardscaping. Boulders, laid out in natural-looking formations and dug one-third of the way into the soil, are good year-round anchors that complement their flower companions. 6 Steps to a No-Work Cottage Garden
Ferns & Astilbe are a perfect mix for the shade garden, creating a soft and colorful display. While ferns are initially expensive, they are a hardy perennial and multiply rapidly. They are easily separated to be transplanted in new beds or given to friends. They stay green all summer and die back to a stub in winter for easy fall or spring cleanup.