Shade Garden Plants
Many people are intimidated in choosing the right plants for their garden. It is actually pretty simple. There are 3 main principles in selecting the right plants for your shade garden. 1. Choose the right plants for your geographic location. 2. Choose the right plants for the amount of sun they will get. 3. Choose a variety of plants to attain contrasting colors and textures.
Planting for your Climate
One of the most important things to remember, is that not all plants will grow well in every part of the country. In colder climates, such as the east coast of the US, plants will thrive and flower nicely because the frost stimulates their flower production. In some areas such as the northwest, the plants get more water and will thrive. Areas such as the south and southwest receive a lot of hot sun and less water. All of these things need to be considered when selecting plants for your garden. I use a book called The Sunset Western Garden Book. This book is a MUST for determining what plants will grow in your climate. Get this book, or an equivalent and take it with you to the store. If you see a plant you like, look it up in the gardening book to see if it will grow in your climate. If so, then you are ready to go on to the next step.
Plants for Shade, Sun or Both
Not all plants will grow in shade. Look at the plant label, and it will tell you if the plant will grow best in full sun, partial shade or full shade. believe it or not, not all sun loving plants will grow in the shade. Some flowering plants need full sun to bloom and will not grow in the shade.
Plant Color and Texture
You want a shade garden with different flower colors and leaf texture. You can blend light green with dark green, and different textures make for a pleasing shade garden. Since the garden will be in a darker area, try to choose a nice array of lighter colors in the back with the darker ones in the front. This will ensure that the darker colors wont get lost in the shade. Again, there are many gardening books that can help you select the right plants for your shade garden. Be sure to consider the mature height and shape of the plants so your garden wont get over crowded. Also, check gardening books to find out what the seasons of bloom are for your plants. It is nice to have a variety of flowering times throughout the year so your garden will always be beautiful and changing. Many are on the shelves and available for you to refer to. Find one or two gardening reference books with lots of photos and information on the plants, and purchase them to take home and help you with ideas for a beautiful shade garden.