Shade herb garden design plans can incorporate areas of the garden that don’t get as much sun. For example, you can grow shade herbs plants in places that are shaded either part of the day or all day.
If anyone tells you that herbs will only grow in full sun, it must mean that they have never personally attempted to grow herb plants in anything other than a full sun garden.
There are a lot of varieties of herbs that have lovely flowers and foliage that will add colour to your garden either in shade, partial shade, or in full sun. Not only will you get flowering plants, you’ll also have a good harvest of fresh herbs to use in your cooking.
Note, be aware this does not apply to all herb plants, some need more sunlight.
Make a start by deciding what sort of herb garden design you have in relation to the amount of sunlight available and the types of shade your garden receives throughout the day. Not all shade is equal so watch your garden throughout the day and decide on the following
- What path does the sun take during the day in your garden?
- Which direction does the sun hit your garden, west, south, south-east?
- What quantity of sunlight do you get in different areas of your garden?
- Is there anything in your garden that provides shade as the sun moves round during the day? Shed, wall, trees, etc.
- Where there is shade, is the ground moist, wet, or dry?
The next thing you need to do is assess each area and list them by the amount of sun or shade that they get at different times of day
- Full Sun = Six or more hours of direct sunlight
- Partial Shade = Three to six hours of direct sunlight
- Dappled Shade = An area that receives shade from obstacles that block the sunlight and/or that produce naturally filtered sunlight, such as trees
- Full Shade = Less than three hours of full or direct sunlight in a day where no sunlight is able to filter through at all for three hours due to sheds, houses, walls, fences, thick canopies of trees.
- Deep Shade = absolutely no sunlight whatsoever is able to get through to that area of garden at any time of day.
You will also need to determine the level of dampness or dryness of the soil in the area of garden you are considering turning into a shade herb garden design.
- Wet = Heavy wet soil with really low quality of drainage that may cause root rot in some plants.
- Moist = Soil is moist from being in the shade most of the day but is not heavy and wet. This type of soil is often found at the north face of fences or buildings where there isn’t enough sunlight to dry out the soil completely.
- Dry = Dry soil can be found where direct sunlight causes evaporation, or it can also be found under heavy canopies of trees where rain does not manage to get through to the soil as well. It is important to keep a check on soil under trees even if it is in the shade it does not necessarily mean that it will also be damp.
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So, before choosing and planting your shade herbs, you basically need to check the amount of direct sunlight different areas of your garden receive, the types of shade you have in these areas, and the amount of moisture in the soil.
Choosing Herb Plants
When choosing your herb plants you need to be aware of your local climate and soil type. If you are unsure if your climate is suitable for any individual plant you would like to grow in your shade herb garden, do check with a local nursery as they will be best to advise you on local climate and conditions suitability for any particular plants and flowers. This is important as it is not just the sunlight and moisture that counts towards survival of plants but the entire landscape in your country and region.
Popular shade herbs plants include herbs such as:
Full Shade: Lemon Balm, Mints, Wild Ginger, Sweet Woodruff, Sweet Cicely.
Partial Shade: Mints, Ginger, Parsley, Chives, Thyme, Sweet Woodruff, Sweet Cicely, Chervil, Rosemary, Oregano.
Dappled Shade / Filtered Sun: Lemon Verbena, Aloe Vera, Sweet Bay.
If you want something to really stand out and brighten up your herb garden shade area you could opt for white flowers. If there is not very much sunlight filtering through, white flowers will really stand out and brighten up the area quite a bit. Some suggestions for suitable plants with white flowers would be; Chamomile with small white flowers similar to a daisy in appearance, Lilly of the Valley which displays lovely little bell shaped flowers.
For herbs with flowers in shades of pink you could choose something like Comfrey which has blooms of a bell shape, Coriander, Oregano, Catnip, and Herb Robert. Some mint plants will also produce pink blossoms.
Yellow will also add quite a bit of colour and some of the suggestions for plants with yellow flowers would be; Evening Primrose, Goldenseal, or Calendula.
Mixture of Colours
Some plants will add more than one colour to your herb garden. Examples of these would be; Bee Balm which can come in a few colours such as orange, pink, puple, white and red, Passion Flowers that can add colours such as blue, purple and white, Chrysanthemum that comes in various heights and colours if you are looking for something to add height to your arrangement, or Sweet Violet with its touch of yellow, white and purple.
So there we have it, if you want to grow something useful in your shade herb garden you have a many varieties to choose from that can not only be grown successfully in shade or partial shade, they will also provide you with and beautiful display of flowers and plenty of fresh herbs for your recipes!