Living a shady life

CoverWhen you think gardens, you think often of sunny, light bathed areas, filled with bright flowers, all the colours of the rainbow.

My garden does have these spots, but the vast majority of it is shady, and over the years in this house I’ve struggled to figure out how to bring colour into a shady garden.

Of course the library was the first place I headed. There must be plants who love the shade but also love showing off their colourful flowers or variegated leaves.

This book caught my eye, Success with Shade Loving Plants – success was what I wanted! Then, browsing the catalogue, I spotted this title and thought, ” this is a must”. Making the Most of Shade had an intriguing subtitle, ‘Growing a Fabulous Garden that Lightens up the Shadows’. I also checked out 200 tips for Gardening in the Shade , The Shady Border and I had a wee poke around an online library gardening resource via The Source , called Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture.

Until I started looking I didn’t realise there were so many books and other resources about shady gardens out there.

I felt I was really onto something now. So armed with new found knowledge, I’m planning a few changes, plotting through the colder months but nothing radical, just trying to inject some colour and interest, so that come spring and summer, the garden will be transformed into a place where it looks like someone cares.

Here’s hoping. I’m also going to try an idea I’ve had of growing sun-loving plants in pots, then moving them about into shady spots for a week or two, then back to the sun, just to see what happens.

Do you have favourite plants, garden styles, colours you love in your garden, or maybe plant combinations? Do share!

2 thoughts on “Living a shady life

  1. Mojo Jojo 10 April 2012 / 2:33 pm

    I too have some patches of the garden that are pretty shady. I use them to grow lettuces (it’s the only way I manage to keep the little blighters from bolting!) and cane-type berries (my raspberries seem to do very well on less than half a day’s sun). Definitely going to check out a few of the books you mention though!

  2. menkris 10 April 2012 / 10:38 pm

    It is a real challenge to get a plant to flower in the shade. I’ve had success with Spathiphyllum (dark green leaves with a faint patina with stark white flowers) and with some kinds of Dracaena. The latter come in many different colours but, I’ve found that the humble looking ones (that have more green on them) do much better than the vividly colored exotic types.
    Good Luck!

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