In most people’s minds, scenes depicting spectacular expanses of colorful flowers take place in bright, sunny settings. Flowers like rows of gladiolas, giant sunflowers, and magnolia blooms thrive best when they are exposed to direct sunlight for the most of the day. On the other hand, there are a few species of blooming plants that are really more suited to growing in the shadow. There are also hardy plants that can survive in the shade, the sun, or a combination of the two environments.
During the sunny and muggy days of summer, a shade garden encourages you to take a seat and unwind, which is one of the many benefits of having one. A shadow garden, in contrast to a garden in the front yard, which is often created for the sake of display, is typically a secluded hideaway from the rest of the world. Another benefit of shade gardens is that they are often more conducive to the maintenance and upkeep of fish ponds. There is less of a chance that the pond would grow too hot, which may lead to a rise in algae and ultimately kill the fish.
Shade Garden Design
Most of the time, when people think of a shade garden, they see it as having simply two layers: low-growing plants like coleus and coral bells, and big trees. On the other hand, shadow gardens, with a little amount of planning and design, may give layer upon layer of fascinating plants and blooms. If you already have a section of woods, developing a shadow garden can begin with clearing off a sitting or dining space and making meandering trails all over the woodland. When constructing a garden, it is best practice to determine the position of any fishponds or other types of water features at the same time as designing the garden.
Your hardscape may be made out of rocks and boulders, seamlessly merging in with the design of your garden while perhaps concealing a little surprise inside it, such as a miniature waterfall or fountain. Natural materials, such as stepping stones or wood chips, should be used for the construction of paths through shadow gardens. Last but not least, there should be interesting plant life at every eye level. This includes low-growing plants like impatiens and hostas, medium-sized bushes and shrubs like rhododendrons, and lastly big trees. Additionally, vines such as the virginia creeper may be trained to drape over passageways or used to create the “walls” of a hidden area. Bring some color to all of the different levels by using hanging baskets of fuchsia or containers of ivy and impatiens placed on pedestals. This will help cover up any dull places.
Do not overlook the importance of comfortable seats. We are invited to rest in the shade by a variety of seating options, including chairs, benches, swings, and hammocks. You have the option of giving your furniture an eye-catching pop of color by utilizing paint or fabric, or you may choose to play it safe by combining subdued browns and greens.
Best Plants for Shade
Plants for the shade might be annuals, perennials, or annuals that behave more like perennials since they self-seed. Annuals such as impatiens and other similar plants are quite popular. and blossom in an array of beautiful hues. Brightly blooming fuchsias go well in hanging baskets, and the hummingbirds that visit their blossoms are a testament to the plant’s beauty. In undisturbed soil, balsam may reach a height greater than that of impatiens and will produce its own seeds. Plants with brightly colored leaves, such as golden oxalis and coleus, may give the impression that sunlight has been added to a shady garden.
Vine-like perennials that thrive in the shade include honeysuckle and other similar plants. A kaleidoscope of hues may also be brought to the shadow garden by perennials such as astilbes, coral bells, rhododendrons, and sweet woodruff. In addition, the leaves of hostas may come in a wide range of colors, including green, gold, yellow, and even white, which adds a splash of color to the landscape.
Lessons from the Woods
A deer moves stealthily through the woods, remaining hidden by its surroundings as it travels. It is possible that you will virtually step on a pair of spotted fawns who are curled up beneath a shrub since they are so difficult to see before they spring from their hiding place. Flowers that thrive in temperate woodlands, such as violets, virginia bluebells, or wild geranium, are often such delicate gems that we have to pause in order to view them properly. Learn from the surrounding forest how to properly grow a garden in the shadow. Primroses might be planted in between two stones as an alternative to usually putting large, colorful flowers. This would give the impression that the flowers are buried. A subdued and relaxing palette may also be achieved by selecting plants whose leaves are various hues of green and white.
Don’t allow the shadows discourage you from working in your garden. Gardens in the shade may be just as vibrant and lovely to stroll through as those in the sun. Why not begin with a small number of plants at first? It’s possible that you’ll uncover more options than you anticipated.