How to create a dynamic shade garden!

What is a shade garden?

  • Full Shade is considered 3 hours or less of direct sunlight each day.
  • Partial Shade is considered 3-6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Shade gardens are cool – literally! It can feel 10-15 degrees cooler in a shaded garden then in direct sunlight.

What should you plant a shade garden in WI?

You can plant more than just hostas in a WI shade garden! Below is a link that shows some great plants that work well in partial and full shade situations.

Shady areas can vary and it’s important to understand there are dry and wet areas of the garden

  • Good dry plant choices: Gro-Low Sumac and Lungwort
  • Good wet choices: Sedges, Astilbe, Hydrangea, Gray dogwood

What is your style preference or what style of home do you have?

If you get creative enough you can create any style in a shade garden;

  • Modern
  • Cottage
  • Woodland
  • Specialty

Some of these styles will lean towards certain plants more then others, but in a lot of cases it is more about how the plant is used or shown in the garden.

How can I add interest to my shady garden?

Shady areas are already mysterious! Here are some ways to create interest and make your shade garden dynamic and visually interesting!

  • Curving paths
  • Playing with heights
  • A hidden bench
  • A prized hydrangea
  • A special spot where the fairies and gnomes go to hang out
  • Textures and mass plantings
  • Lighting – up-lighting, down-lighting, and pathway lighting


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *