Shade Gardens

Many people think you need a lot of sunlight in order to have a beautiful garden, but there are plenty of choices for those shady spots to create a spectacular landscape.  Shade gardens can be just as diverse and lovely as the sunny ones.

The main thing to realize when planning a shade garden is that you are not going to have as many options as you will for a sun garden.  This, however, does not mean you won’t be able to create a great space. When planning your garden, take into consideration the different shades of green available, the different textures in leaves, using colored leaves and accenting with blooming perennials and annuals.

When trying to understand what it means to look at different shades of green, you don’t have to look farther then hostas.  Now I’m not saying to only use hostas, far from it, but the varieties available in just this one plant family are astounding.  There are colors that range from dark green hostas with white stripes, to turquoise blue hosta leaves, to lime green leaves.  These different hues can create plenty of drama in your garden, let alone by adding texture.

For your shade garden, you can have the broad leaf of the hosta mixed with airy ferns and round heuchera.  Mixing these textures, as well as plant heights and widths, will also create interest in a shade garden.

Finally, adding in other colors through colored leaves and flowers will add accents that pop in your garden.  Heuchera have all different color leaves, from dark purple to peach, these perennials will keep constant color in your garden.  Other plants like this are coleus and caladium.

Some of the best blooming perennials for the shade include the hardy geranium, astilbe, lamium, hellebore, bleeding hearts, violets and hydrangeas.  With annuals, you can get color all season long by using begonias, impatiens, torenia, browallia and flowering maple as accents in your garden.

These properties can also be applied to shade containers, just on a smaller scale.  Incorporating both shade perennials and annuals in pots gives you the same diverse look of colors and textures as you would get with a larger garden.  You can also use houseplants in your containers to give you a unique look for your pots.  Using rubber plants, pepperomia or wandering Jew, you can create arrangements that you don’t see every day.

While gardening basics tell you that your plants need the sun to grow, there are plenty of ways to create a beautiful garden with very little to no direct sunlight. Taking the time to plan these shady spaces to incorporate the different growing habits, textures and colors will give you a lush, beautiful garden.


Christian Goers