Do you get frustrated by the shady spots in your garden? It’s more likely that you’re frustrated by planting sun-loving plants in the wrong place and watching them fail. Though it would make things a lot easier for gardeners (and growers) if shade fit neatly into categories of ‘part’ or ‘full,’ such is rarely the case in an average garden, and this leads to frustration when plants don’t bloom or exhibit weak growth. Once you understand the light exposure of different parts of your property, you can make better choices when selecting plants, and give them what they need to thrive.
First things first, get excited! If you have shade in your garden, you are extremely fortunate. Not only are there a wealth of wonderful plants available to create a lush, inviting space, the coolest place to be in the heat of summer is quite literally a shady garden. Instead of ignoring your shade or feeling exasperated by it, we'll help you understand it!
To understand shade, first you must assess it, with a few simple steps. Pick a day during the spring and summer months, where you can be home all day, and set an alarm to ring every hour. Each hour, make a note of whether the area in your garden is sunny or shady. When you put those notes together, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re really dealing with and can plant accordingly. Chances are your shade falls somewhere in the following five categories:
- Part Shade
- Dappled Shade
- Summer Shade
- Bright Shade
- Full Shade
Read on for planting suggestions for each type of shade.