These rugged and beautiful shade lovers throw long and colorful spikes above divided foliage in summer, a time when color in the shade garden is hard to come by. Use them in groups in the woodland border, or mass them to create a ground cover. In evenly moist or wet soil, Astilbes are tough, carefree, and handsome. The only thing they cannot endure is drought. Astilbe blooms are useful for cutting if they are picked when half open.