Themes of Shade

A Shade Garden can be created in any of several different types of shade. It can be in the mottled shade that comes from a broad leaf tree to the deep dark woods mentioned in Robert Frost's "Stopping by A Woods on A Snowy Evening". We have morning shade (not so good for a shade garden if this area gets afternoon sun - it will much too hot and drying) and afternoon shade. And we can even create or modify our shade with man-made constructions. Each type of shade supports different types of plants although there is over-lap. Of course, you should always be prepared to experiment with your garden.

Each of these types of shade can have a different theme with different type of plants. The possibilities are almost endless and they do not all have to be gray or green types of gardens. You will be able to make use of most of the shade spots you have around your home.

If you have no shade, as was discussed in a previous article, you can plant trees to provide some partial shading. These trees can provide shade for part of the day, like maples, or have a mottled shade, like aspens. In the shade of these trees you can plant a Hummingbird Garden.

Fuchsias enjoy the filtered sun provided by trees like aspens and are in turned enjoyed by the Hummingbird. Other Hummingbird plants like the Nictiana alata, Bee Balm, Bellflower, and Columbine do best in shade for part of the day like that provided by a few maple trees.

You can create a deep dark shade (you know the kind that are so nice on a really hot day) with maples and other broadleaf trees. In this dark shade, colors can be brought out with Primulas and Rhododendrons. Be sure to include some seating in this area and you will have a very enjoyable place to wile away a hot summer afternoon.

2005, Sandra Dinkins-Wilson

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