For some yards, a shade garden may be your only option, for others it may provide an opportunity to offset the vibrant sun loving plants that bloom so easily.
Either way, creating a shade garden is a viable, enjoyable way to add diverse
colors and foliage to your overall landscape. Fortunately there are great
ground covers, shrubs, plants and luminous sweet-scented flowers to choose from when it comes to planning out your garden and many of the annuals and
perennials you will want to use are now in stock.
First, let's classify the types of shade you might have to work with in order to best pair up the plants with the right amount of sunlight.
Light Shade An area that gets a lot of light in intervals during the day. Some full-sun plants can be moved back into this area and in some climates such as the Deep South may actually benefit from the move.
Open Shade We use this term to describe light found on the northern side of your home.
Medium Shade This is where the full-sun and full-shade difference really comes in to play. Examples are northern-facing areas that have structures or several trees blocking the sun.
Deep Shade This area is of course the most limited. Walls, trees, hedges and other structures allow little to no light to come through.
Now we’ll name a few Shade Garden favorites and the amount of light they like.
Begonia: A great, versatile choice for full-sun to light or medium shade.
Begonia’s may also be planted in deep shade but tend to get ‘leggy’ so a few
hours of sun is best.
Coleus: Most Coleus will thank you for planting them in light to medium shade by growing into big, lush plants for the entire summer. Coleus gives your garden a wonderful tropical accent.
Foxglove: This tall (up to 6 ft) biennial is perfect for medium to deep shade. Flowers come in purple, white, yellow, red or lavender. Butterflies and hummingbirds find Foxglove irresistible.
Hosta: Another great shade choice but avoid the deep shade. Hosta will grow best with some light.
Hydrangea: The versatility of Hydrangea makes it an excellent choice for shade areas. Many varieties of shapes, sizes and flower colors are available.
Impatiens: A favorite of most gardeners, Impatiens thrive in all but the darkest shade. Hardy and colorful, Impatiens almost care for themselves.
Plumbago: This beautiful perennial has either sky blue or white flowers
and will do well in full sun or partial shade. It blooms less in darker shade.
Violets: The attractive, fragrant Violet is a useful ground cover in shady situations. Flowers can be white, blue, purple and even yellow.
So don’t lament if your garden has a lot of shade - use it! With our
plant and flower suggestions, your garden will look fuller and more diverse