Five Shade Garden Ideas

Maintaining plants in shady areas can be a challenge.  Similarly, creating a shady garden space that offers respite from the sun comes with related challenges.  To these ends, arranging plants in such a way that allows them to flourish in what some might consider less than ideal conditions requires forethought, planning and design flexibility.  To help those looking to utilize a space exposed to too much shade or sun, we’ve come up with a list of five shade garden ideas.



Choosing an overarching theme is the first major decision that should be tackled.  This will give you a template to work from and a consistency that underlies every choice you make.  Whether you’re shooting for something tropical, modern, traditional, inspired by the Far East or the Mediterranean, the theme will give guidance in the types of elements you use and the way they are arranged.



Shady spots have a tendency towards becoming dark and gloomy.  One way to combat this is to incorporate colour when choosing the plants and other elements you’ll be working with.  This can be accomplished with shade loving flowers, plants with colourful leaves, different shades of greenery and colourful hardscaping and furniture.  Brighten up your space with one, a couple or all of these ideas.



Lighting can also play an important role in lightening the ambience during the day and once the sun falls.  Beyond simple illumination, clever use of artificial lighting can create a mood, highlight specific areas and make the space more functional.



Hardscaping can completely change the appearance and feeling of a plant dominated space.  With the use of pebbles, stones and rocks, texture can be given, pathways can be laid down and counterpoints to green patches can be created.  Other hardscape elements such as trellises and pergolas can be used to increase shade while extending your space vertically.  Statues and other ornamental pieces can be used to embellish and decorate.



Water features can be used to reflect light, introduce movement, add contrasting texture and provide auditory embellishment.  Water features can also be used to create a focal point, provide a calming influence and attract or sustain wildlife.  Water features work as a great counterbalance to shade.