I am thrilled to welcome Holly from Your Gardening Friend as a special guest poster today! After reading my post over at Frugal Granola about utilizing the shady areas of your yard, Holly had some wonderful ideas and decided to turn them into a post!
John and I have always lived in places with an abundance of shade. For the past 4 years, we’ve lived smack-dab in the middle of the woods… literally. During these 4 years, I’ve come to learn of, and appreciate, a vast variety of plants that enjoy, and some even thrive in, partial to full shade.
Here is only a sampling list of plants that enjoy a partial shade or full shade garden.
- Bleeding Hearts (Colors: white and pink)
- Burning Hearts (Colors: red)
- Toad Lilies (Colors: white, red, & purple – possibly more. They’re called “toad” lilies because of the spots on the flowers.)
- Hellebores (Colors: numerous)
- Heucheras (Colors: numerous)
- Liriopes (short grassy plants – green, green & yellow, and green and white foliage – that bloom)
- Jack-in-the-Pulpits or Cobra Lilies (Colors: a variety and VERY cool-looking)
- Astilbes (Colors: numerous – lavender, pink, peach, red, white, off-white, and maybe more)
- Foxgloves (Colors: numerous)
- Corydalis (Colors: BEAUTIFUL shades of blue and purple.)
Most of these plants are within hardy zones 4-8 or 5-9.
Amount of Sun
Full Sun = 6 or more hours of direct sunlight
Part Sun and Part Shade = 3-6 hours of sunlight (preferably the earlier hours of the day)
[Definitions on this vary.] Plants that are said to need “part sun” would need the upper end of the 3-6 hours, and “part shade” would need the lower end of the 3-6 hours.
Full Shade = less than 2 or 3 hours of sunlight, sometimes in the form of dappled sunlight
If you have direct sunlight, but not a full 6 hours of direct sunlight, experiment with some of your favorite sun-loving plants. You may find some plants are more tolerant of shade than others. I have tall (about 3 feet tall) decorative perennial grasses in an area where they clearly do not get the recommended daily dosage of sun. They’re doing fine. Granted, they’d probably be fuller (and “happier”) if they had more sun, but they’re doing fine.
What’s been your experience with shady gardens?
Holly shares helpful gardening tips, and explores the fascinations of nature (birds, bats, butterflies, bees, bugs, and all) on her blog, Your Gardening Friend