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How to Design Your Backyard- Shade Plants for Massachusetts

Written by Judith Lipson- Rubin | Sun, Nov 15, 2015

Growing plants in the shade can be a daunting task if not properly thought out. This does not mean you need to hire a professional landscape designer, but it does mean you have to do your research.

All plants have different growing requirements, including, but not limited to: soil type, drainage and of course, light conditions. Depending on your growing zone, the plants that thrive best in shaded gardens vary. Here in Eastern Massachusetts, we grow in Zones 5 & 6, which means we can choose plants that need shade according to both of the zone areas. The Backyard Gardener has a great list of shade plants according to each zone.

We have designed and installed many gardens with plants that thrive in the shade, and these are our 3 favorite shade plants:

1. Diamond Tiara Plantain Lily (Hosta 'Diamond Tiara')- Beautiful lily with bright green foliage, with perfect white edges.

2. Freckles Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia 'Freckles')- Showy clusters of pink flowers with dark purple spots radiating from the center adding beauty to this shrub.

3. Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice')- Pink and blue flowers rebloom continuously, spring through fall.

Gardens should be delightful to design and install! Enjoy the process and the outcome with a more beautiful outdoor space for all to enjoy!

If you are interested in hiring a professional landscape designer, download our design process guide to better understand the steps you need to take.