Creating Your Own Shade Garden

If you live in a neighborhood that does not get very much sunlight due to trees or other factors, finding plants to grow in your garden can be a little tricky. Creating shade gardens allows you to have a beautiful space and take advantage of shady areas that may be under-utilized.

Use Creative Lighting

You can help improve shade gardens by using clever techniques to ensure that your plants, and the soil, get as much light as possible. One idea for a little extra sunlight: painting a nearby shed, fence or wall white or another pale color. The sunlight will reflect off the surface, providing more light to shadier areas of the yard.

Planting in shady areas can be particularly tricky, not because of lack of sunlight, but because the soil in these areas tend to be less fertile. You can help offset this by introducing moisture and fertilizer to the ground you want to plant in, before you prepare to plant. The extra moisture and fertile soil help create a better growing environment and reduce the risk of drying out your plants.

Use Color

When you are planting a shade garden, it’s important to consider that you likely won’t be able to use flowers or plants that are more colorful, as these often require more sunlight to achieve the brightest colors. There are plants in most colors that will do okay in the shade, just make sure to use color wisely to offset the darkness of the shady area.

As you decide the types of plants and flowers you’d like to have in your shade garden, consider using low-growing plants that are acclimated to shady forests. Ivy, strawberries, woodbine, sweet woodruff and highbush cranberry are excellent options for providing contrast in a shady area.

Another concern to consider when planting a garden in a shady area, particularly near trees, is how the roots of your plants will impact the area nearby. Some flowers could cause damage or at least limit growth in tree roots, so use caution when planting around trees. Avoid planting too close to the roots.

Containers and Walkways

When creating a shade garden, you may want to consider planting in decorative containers. This eliminates the concern for root impact and provides better soil. Don’t forget to add stones or walkway in areas that are resistant to growth to hide bare spots in your grass.

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