Landscaping for Shade
Four design and plant solutions for shady spaces
By Maureen Gilmer, landscape designer, author and LandscapingNetwork.com columnist
Shady spaces present their own set of unique challenges but can become a sanctuary in a garden with the right design and plants.
Shade grows moss, it makes a yard cold and dreary, darkens interior rooms and omits sun loving flowers. Solving an existing shade condition is not easy, and options are few. But there are ways you and your designer can use plants to make shady conditions far more appealing.
Design for shady spaces keeping these four techniques in mind:
Technique #1: Thin Canopy trees
Technique #2: Create the Illusion of Sun Dappling
Includes a list of the top variegated shade plants.
Technique #3: Shady Shrubs for North Foundations
Includes a list of the top shade-loving shrubs.
Technique #4: Add Excitement to Shade with Perennials
Includes a list of the top perennials for shade.
Evaluate the Degree of Shade Before You Start
Not all shade is the same. The first task is to evaluate the quality of your shade to determine if it will grow plants at all.
|Light shade||A few hours of direct sun each day.||Many plants grow here.|
|Medium shade||Little direct sunlight.||A few plants grow here.|
|Deep shade||No direct sunlight.||No plants grow here.|
Once you determine your level of shade, you can evaluate which plants are suitable. The techniques available for maximizing design in shaded areas will make your yard not only usable but beautiful as well.
Maureen "Mo" Gilmer is a landscape designer, author, and speaker about horticulture topics and landscape design.