|Many gardeners find
shady spots a challenge, mistakenly assuming that there's not a lot you
can do to design it, except for adding a lot of green stuff,
evergreens,vining groundcover and potted plants. There are lots of
beautiful plants, small shrubs and trees to choose from. And the
addition of potted plants and weaving in groundcovers
is fairly easy.
I have a sunny garden, and would
love to design a shade garden. My only options are as understory
plantings. I consider a shady area a big bonus in garden design. By
using the proper plants and care, shady spots can be welcoming retreats,
and shady corners a colorful surprise. You can camouflage a lot of ugly
problem areas, if you need to. The spot can "feel" like a
rainforest or patch of prehistoric, and it takes well to the addition of
small water features. A beautiful rock
garden is possible, as well.
Foliage Gardens and Ferneries are a
beautiful option. Many plants adapt from full shade to partial shade
well. I grow varieties of Hosta that don't mind a little of each.
It would be an easy thing to combine both full shade and partial shade
plants and design it in a way that allows for rotating bloom times and
bright, green color and variegation that sets them off. Big, smooth
variegated leaves, the feathery fronds of ferns,the graceful look of
ornamental fountain grasses, clumping bamboo, ivy, bog
plants for damp areas... there are hundreds of varieties of foliage
and flowering plants to choose from.
That Grow in Partial Shade
Sour cherries grow well in shady
gardens, because they donít need the sun to sweeten them. And they
look very pretty when trained on a wall.
Currants and gooseberries
Cane fruits, such as blackberries
and raspberries can also cope with some shade.
Rhubarb is another great crop for a
Fruit trees - pears and plums are
best. Pears do need a few hours of sun, preferable in the afternoon.
Plums are a great choice for a landscape that gets morning sun and
afternoon shade. Remember that many varieties of pear and plum trees
need a cross-pollinator to bear fruit.
Alpine strawberries are much tougher
than normal strawberries.
I have compiled a shady garden
design plan collection below that may be downloaded free in .pdf format.
Lots of Garden Design Plans are available for
free downloading in other parts of this site.
click the pics and there you have it. Plans to design a beautiful shade
Adapt the plans to the plants and
garden themes you wish. The plans are a proven design that works, but
you can choose the theme you want to design for your garden. For
instance, you can plan a Moonlight Garden, Fragrance
Garden, Rain Garden, Fernery,
Garden using the plant suggestions and colors mentioned in my garden
design articles, and adapting the design plan to reflect that theme
using shade-loving plantings.
The design plans contain a color
illustration (like the one at the top of this page), a detailed list of
plants, and the planting plans. Feel free to substitute any other
similar-need shade plants for the ones suggested. Use your imagination.
Be sure to check your USDA Hardiness Map planting zone for perennials
and grasses that will grow in your area.
plans are not all about shade. There are plans that adapt well in shade
gardens, using shade-loving plants. For instance, add various-sized
containers and tall, weeping ornamental grasss for height, color and
Feel free to change
the plot sizes, bigger or smaller, to fit your garden size and needs.
Multiples of these design sizes would look great across a larger garden
Garden Design Plan
click the plan for a free download