Black & White Shade Garden

Black & White Shade Garden Design Template

This shade garden sticks to a black and white color palette, creating a fun statement bed in an area that can often be overlooked. Each of these plants are perennials–they’ll come back year after year and many of them will grow and spread and fill more space. They obviously complement each other with their contrasting black and white colors, but there’s a little more at work here, too. This design boasts a blend of shapes, sizes, and textures. The colors and variety of textures create contrast, and repetition creates unity. The plants in this design form a dynamic group and they each bring their own individual qualities to the landscape. Let’s unpack each plant below.

Blue Ivory Hosta

Hostas are the classic shade plant–everyone’s go-to. The Blue Ivory variety, however, is one of the most unique hostas. The leaves have a green-blue center and a very wide white margin around the edges. This stark contrast is absolutely beautiful! This hosta plant also has wide, smooth leaves and adds a showy elegance to the planter bed.

Black Pearl Coral Bells

This variety of coral bells is a dramatic black color with hints of deep purple. One of the darkest plants available, it also produces tiny, delicate, pale pink flowers. The dark color of the foliage adds depth and drama to your planter bed.


Astilbe comes in several different bloom colors, but to stick with the color scheme, we’ve selected a white bloom for this plan. While the hostas and coral bells are chosen mainly for their leaf color, astilbe’s flowers really pull their weight in this design. They may be feathery and airy, but their form demands attention. The pointy, serrated texture of the astilbe is almost the complete opposite of the smooth leaves of the hostas, creating a pleasing contrast in your yard. Astilbes are gorgeous in the garden and also make fantastic cut flowers.

Lily of the Valley

The flowers on this plant are small white bells and they bring a whimsical charm to your garden. A delicate flower, lily of the valley is one that packs a punch–it is a toxic plant if ingested, so it’s something to watch out for if you have small kids or pets. They’re also avid spreaders, so you’ll want to keep an eye on them and ensure they stay in the desired area. Scattered throughout the planter bed, they’ll fill in any gaps. These tiny sprays of flowers bring such dainty beauty to the design and balance out the visual weight of the larger plants in this plan, especially the hostas and the coral bells. 

Though united in purpose (creating a showy black-and-white statement garden), each one of these plants has their own unique qualities that they bring to your yard. Though they vary in size, texture, and color, they strike a perfect balance between contrast and cohesion and make for a gorgeous shade garden.

Black & White Shade Garden

Plants used in this template:

  • Blue Ivory Hosta

  • Black Pearl Coral Bells

  • Astilbe 

  • Lily of the Valley