Know the type of shade you have!
- Shade from buildings or other structures – shade is denser, sun may be reflected, sun may change during the day
- Shade from trees – root competition – adding humus on top of existing soil, adding mulch can help condition of soil
Ideal soil should be loamy and relatively well-drained
- Ideal soil should be loamy and relatively well-drained
- Shade loving herbaceous plants in general do not have very deep roots but require a minimum of 4-6 inches of good soil
Designing a garden for shade
- Under trees in early spring -can use a wide variety of spring bulbs and spring ephemerals
- Rely on plants with variegated foliage, different textures, leaf size, size of plants, use of cool and warm greens
Perennials for dry shade
- Hardy geranium
- Solomon’s Seal
- Wild Ginger Asarum canadense or Asarum europaeum
Shrubs for dry shade
- Spice bush
- Japanese maple
- Oak leaf hydrangea
Cramer, Harriet L. (2000). A Garden in the Shade. New York: Friedman Fairfax.
Hodgson, Larry. (2005). Making the Most of Shade: How to Plan, Plant, and Grow a Fabulous Garden that Lightens Up the Shadows. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.
Westcott- Gratton, S. (2016) 8 plants for dry and shady gardens. Gardenmaking August 2016 retrieved from https://gardenmaking.com/8-plants-dry-shady-gardens
Chicago Botanical Gardens Plant Evaluation site is a great resource. https://www.chicagobotanic.org
Submitted by Penny Keegan and Nancy Burnett