Since much of my garden is in shade, I'm always looking for plants that will thrive in those conditions.
One of my favorites are caladiums. They love the heat of summer, need to be kept moist and will provide color until frost.
Caladiums come in a wide away of colors and shapes too many are variegated. I'm a sucker for the reds, but there are pink, white, green and mixed varieties also.
They will take a few hours of sun, but prefer to spend most of the day in the shade.
Caladiums can also be saved over the winter in the same fashion as dahlias.
If you don't want to save them, that's OK, just let them fade away at the end of the season.
Being cheap, I save lots of them. They are actually kind of tough to get started in my unheated greenhouse as they love warm temperatures.
Here's a primer for saving any tender tubers.
I like to buy the biggest pot I can afford, usually six or eight inches. The leaves are bigger and they seem to do better. In a couple weeks, the plants will get marked down an many garden centers, that's a great time to give them a try.