How to Design a Well-Shaded Garden

When it comes to gardens, lots of shade isn't exactly ideal. Grass and plants need sunlight, and you want to be able to enjoy the sun too. But some yards just don't get a lot of sunlight, especially at the times of day when you most want and need it. If your yard doesn't get much sun, it doesn't mean that all is lost. There are still things you can do to design a garden that looks great and that you like spending time in. Managing a shady area can be a little tricky but you can use some steps to make the most of it.


Understand the Type of Shade

Before you get started, it helps to understand the type of shade that your yard gets. There are probably different areas that get different amounts and types of shade and sunlight. Spending some time watching your yard and determining the times of day when parts of it are shaded can help you work out how to treat each area. Different areas might have direct sunlight at some points of the day and be shaded in others, while some could be constantly shaded by either certain plants and trees or simply due to nearby buildings and other structures.


Consider Soil Type

The amount of sunlight a shaded area might get is important to consider, but you also need to think about other factors. The soil type that's present can be a significant element to take into account when designing your garden and choosing plants. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil is one thing to check, but what's likely to matter more is whether the soil is able to retain moisture well. Whether the soil is dry or damp won't just depend on whether the area is shaded or not. Other factors can also make a difference, such as what plants or trees are already in the area.


Pick Plants with High Shade Tolerance

Your choice of plants will definitely help you make the most of any shaded areas in your yard. From grass to evergreens, there are some options that tolerate shade well and others that really need a lot more sunlight. If you're choosing a grass for your lawn or other areas, Sapphire grass is a great choice to have in the shade. It tolerates shade really well and will stay green even if it's not getting direct sunlight all the time. You might need to experiment with different plants to see what works best.

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”
– Jane Austen



Mix Different Types of Plants

A mix of plants can help you create a beautiful garden even when it's usually in the shade. By mixing different types of plants, you can help to make sure there's always something that is flourishing. Evergreens can often grow all year without much light and so can plants with large foliage. Fruit and vegetables are also great for growing in the shade and giving you somewhere to forage.

A shaded yard can still be designed to look good all year. Approach it in the right way to create a beautiful garden.




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