Trees & Shrubs Provide Texture and Intrigue

Creating Shade in Your Yard

Carefully designed gardens include trees, shrubs and layers of nature to create destinations, memories and springs (and often autumns) that we never want to end. They also provide shady solutions for our gardens and places for plants, people and pets to thrive.

Think the dense inviting canopies of shade trees on hot summer days, the ones that progress into vibrant shades each fall. However, you do have to be careful because some varieties of trees, while they may look fantastic, can result in weak lawns and/or difficult planting environments for your plants and veggie gardens. Also, tree root systems will compete for critical moisture, so be prepared to help out Mother Nature out from time to time and select drought tolerant varieties. For smaller yards, you can consider dwarf trees too.

When considering the layering aspect to go alongside your trees and shrubs, think plants like Blue Sedge Carex, Liriope, ferns and you know my favorite – Hostas! Try some 3’-4’ Monkshood for a little vertical blue accent or Black Snakeroot for deep color intrigue and showy white spiky flowers. You’ll want strong performers and summer shade lovers, like Ligularia, a meaty sort of summer shade lover with a yellow rocket flowers exploding from the top and a purple under-leaf.

Really you can go wild and create so many wonderful areas of texture and intrigue!

Another strategy to increase shade involves selectively by planting taller plants and bushes near a backyard patio. Shade loving shrubs like Forsythia can be planted on the edge to absorb a little sun. Sweetspire and Oak Leaf Hydrangea for their huge white pinnacle flowers produce in the summer and persist through their spectacular burgundy fall foliage. 

Think outside the box too – you can place an arbor or trellis in your yard and train a vines up the structure to create shade too.

Even your veggie and herb garden should include a bit of planned shade. Certain plants need a daily respite from the sun.

Overall, landscaping and designing your garden for shade creates a more comfortable yard that you love being in and entertaining in throughout all the seasons.

Onward to Growing a Beautiful Life!

– Gardening Love, Carrie

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