Light Conditions

1. Q: I'm having trouble growing flowers in a bed on the NW side of my house. Part of the bed gets afternoon sun while other parts are in the shade. I tried growing impatiens but they only did well in the most shaded parts. I want to pick out flowers that will do well but I am confused on how to pick appropriate plants for the light conditions in this bed. It gets morning shade and a few hours of full afternoon sun, so would plants rated for part shade or full sun do better here? And how do you deal with varied light conditions in the same bed, such as those shady corners where the impatiens did survive?

My local nursery suggested I try "Batchelor Buttons" as a replacement. Though the Gardeners Guide to Texas Gardening rates these for full sun, I was told they should do OK in the shady part of the bed too.

A: This problem that you have -- either too intense western sun or too much shade -- is a common homeowner complaint. I don't think Batchelor buttons is the answer since they do not bloom profusely in the shade. You will be better to choose a plant which has a range of full sun to partial shade. These include such plants as coleus (burgandy sun, plum parfait) and begonias (vodka series).

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