Because there are so many factors to consider, it is best to leave shade garden designs to the professionals. To get you started, here are 3 ideas to get you thinking about the endless possibilities there are for growing plants in the shade.
1. This first *tip* is the most important one to remember- only use shade tolerant plants. When selecting plants, first choose according to planting zone and from that list select shade resistant plants. The Backyard Gardener has a great list of shade plants according to each zone.
2. Understand your existing conditions and what type of shade you have. Plants can be labeled as either "full shade" or "part shade".
Full Shade usually means the plant requires moist soil and can only tolerate little sun exposure.
Part Shade usually means that the plant will tolerate some sun exposure with ample moisture, but is happiest in some shade.
3. Select plants according to your space available. It is great to use perennials for a shaded walkway because they add color and can have various bloom times throughout the year to continually lighten up the area. There are also larger plants and shrubs that can be used in a shade border.
*BONUS* A hosta is a great option to use either for a walkway design or border along a shadey backyard fence. There are many types of Hosta plants, this is one of our favorites:
1. Diamond Tiara Plantain Lily (Hosta 'Diamond Tiara')- Beautiful lily with bright green foliage, with perfect white edges.
For more ideas on how a professional landscape designer can help with a shady landscape, check out our Lookbook of Backyard Oasis's and Family Friendly Ideas.