Making successful shade garden plans is a bit more challenging than planning gardens that get plenty of sunlight but it can be a lot of fun too.
While almost all the rules of regular gardening also apply to shade gardening, there is an additional angle to the whole concept of planning – a lack of sunlight. You need to understand shade, apply it to suitable plants and planting, and create your garden plans accordingly.
While it may be a bit daunting at first, just remember nature creates plants for all environments and you can find beautiful plants and flowers growing in naturally shaded woodland habitats where there are different levels of shade through the seasons.
Depending on your likes and dislikes you can indulge in simple backyard shade planting or explore something interesting and productive like vegetable gardening too.
This is ideal for people with south facing houses in the northern hemisphere. With your back yard or garden facing towards the north, you’ll have limited sunlight for your plants but do not let this deter you from developing into an interesting garden.
There may be some reasonably tall trees around your house, the house walls, and probably a fence, all of which will create shaded areas.
Take note of the patterns of sunlight and shading during the day, and at different times of the year, and you will understand which areas need shade garden plans to cater for lack of regular sunlight.
The biggest challenge is the ‘shade’ itself. Most plants cannot grow to their full capacity if kept in full shade every day. This is where pot gardening becomes an interesting option. Pots are mobile which means you can keep moving your plants around to ensure that each gets its share of sunlight, not necessarily every day but just to ensure they maintain health.
With pot or container gardening you do not have to match your plants to shade quite so meticulously. In fact you can even add flowering plants, even if it is under full shade – now that is a rarity.
Of course container gardening does have its own demands; with plants that don’t thrive in shade you need to be regular and diligent in pot rotation or some plants may suffer and you need to stay on top of your re-potting routine to prevent them getting root bound and running out of nutrients.
Herbs are ideal plants for gardens with light shade. They are not only great plants, but they can also double up as fresh ingredients in your cuisine.
Herbs are delicate plants and there are many herbs that have preference to shade.
You can even pot some herbs that require more sunlight and use the pot gardening concept too.
Vegetable gardens are typically associated with bright and well lit sites. That is true for bright vegetables like squashes and tomatoes but there are a whole group of veggies that can grow well even in limited sunlight.
These vegetables include salad greens like lettuce, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, beans, radishes, etc.
While these plants do prefer bright sunshine with little shade, even partial or light shade does not stunt their growth drastically.
I have been growing potatoes in semi shade and they do really well.
The Next Step
There are some interesting shade garden plans ideas given above; you can mix and match them to create your own unique plan.
Already have a plan? Good! Then move on to the next step.
- Make sure you have studied the shade in your garden and put it into categories. Different locations and zones can also determine how much shade you have. Read this article about defining shade types before you buy any plants: Types of Shade
- Determine the climate in your region. Read more about shade garden design relative to both hot and cold climates. Too much sun? Include use of structures such as shade sails.
- Follow these easy steps to creating a shade garden.
- Still haven’t got a clue where to start? Consider buying a pre-planned garden to make it easier for you. Scroll down…
- For more ideas, don’t forget to check out these shade garden tips.
- If you like the idea of being able to plan your landscape on your computer, check out Gardening Landscape Software for some reviews.
This may be an option for you and there is some excellent software available that not only lets you plan your landscaping but other projects for your home as well.