Shady Gardens Fill a Yard Void

Many people think that if their yard gets a lot of shade that gardening just isn't for them. After all, if the yard doesn't get a lot of Sun, how will the plants grow? However, it turns out that shade gardens are extremely common, and they can grow to be every bit as lush and beautiful as their Sun filled counterparts. The trick to gardening in the shade is selecting the right kinds of plants and planning out your garden carefully. Here is everything you need to know about gardening in the shade.

The first thing you need to do is devise the perfect plan. Head out to your yard with some paper and a pencil and start surveying your options. While plants can grow in shady areas, if there are parts of your yard where even the grass won't grow because of the shade, you won't be able to plant there - there is such a thing as too much shade, and when absolutely no light gets through, plants can't live. Start sketching out your yard and mark off the areas you know you won't be able to plant at all. From there, decide which parts of your yard are fully shaded but ideal for growing, which parts are partly shaded, and which parts get full sun. Mark areas on your diagram of your yard. This sketch should also include information about anomalies of your yard, like if there is an area with a slope, an area with sand or gravel or parts with trees or plants that you won't be removing to do your garden design.

As a final preparation step, especially if you are a new to gardening, consider getting someone out to test your soil. These people can check out your soil composition and tell you which kinds of plants will do best there, and which nutrients you should add yourself to make your soil a better growing environment.

With your sketch finished, you will know exactly what you are working with, and now you can choose your plants. If you pay a visit to your local gardening center, you will find that all the plants are clearly labeled with advice about growing conditions - whether they need full sun, part shade or full shade. Match the plants to the growing conditions in your yard, and you're ready to start planting.

Of course, making sure the plants that thrive in the shade get planted in the shade isn't the only consideration when it comes to planting your garden. You will also want to consider the aesthetics of the garden. Do you want a colorful garden, or do you want to have lots of greenery? How much space do you have to work with? Will you be planting trees, bushes or flowers - or some combination of these things? Do you want to include a focal point? Are you hoping to grow flowers you can clip and keep in your home? In addition to making sure you are selecting plants that can grow in the shade conditions in your yard, you should also make sure the product will be pleasing to your eye.

Other considerations you can keep in mind is whether you want your garden to attract any wildlife, like birds or butterflies - although these things will come to your garden no matter what, there are plants you can choose that will attract them in greater numbers. You should also consider the water source and how you will control pests. But with the right amount of planning, your shade garden will thrive.

Lawrence L. Hoyle, author, 54 years in the Landscape Profession. Check out my main website at: This website has free Landscape help for Do-It-Yourselves and a online Landscape Design Services for Homeowners, Landscape Contractors and Home Builders. Designs online since 2003 with designs in 40 states. Get your new Landscape Design today.!

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