Creating a Shady Garden

Creating a Shady Garden

For many, shade can be seen as a disadvantage in the garden and a lot of people think south facing is the ideal but it's time to stop seeing shade as a hinderance and start seeing it as an opportunity. Shade gardening has become so popular now that many people with those ideal south facing gardens are looking for ways to add some shaded spots. Here are some ideas that may help you make your dream shade garden. 

Natural Shade

Now in a perfect world natural shade is what we would all like in our gardens but in the absence of this you can create your own. Planting trees, shrubs and large growing herbaceous plants can help you create areas of natural shade in your garden that you're able to plant up with hostas and other shade plants. Remember that the ideal condition for hostas is dappled shade so you don't have to fully shade an area in order to plant hostas there.

If you're planting new trees then it's advisable to plant your hostas at the same time, this allows them to mature with the trees and establish their root system before the tree has rooted into a larger area. Planting hostas directly under a mature tree can leave them looking sad and stunted.

Hosta in Natural Shade

Artificial Shade

If you're unable to create natural shade or you're maybe a little inpatient waiting for trees to grow then you could add some artificial shade. A parasol or shade canopy would work perfectly to shade your hostas from direct sunlight much like we would use them for ourselves in the Summer. This would be a good idea if you had pots on a patio that were getting too much sun, especially if you were unable to plant shrubs or tress in an area.

We use shade netting at the nursery to create growing areas in the full sun. This helps the plants look their best for longer and also helps them to retain moisture and not dry out as they would in full sun.

Sienna Hosta Creating a shade garden

Natural/Artificial Shade

If you're unable to create natural shade and artificial shade doesn't sound like something you'd like, then maybe you could do a bit of both. A pergola or archway with climbers grower over it could be the perfect mix of natural and artificial shade that you're looking for. 

 This can be a really attractive way of create a feature in the garden and creating some much needed shade so you can fit more hostas!

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