However there are plants that can tolerate, even thrive, in these adverse conditions.
These areas need not be bare. If you are planning a new garden it will help if you draw a sunlight map to discover the shaded areas to assist you in your final design. In your established garden you will already know this and only need to choose the plants. I keep saying this but a good gardening book will give you all the help you need.
Here are some ideas to make that shady spot an oasis of calm:
- If there is a tree casting shade, try and remove the bottom layer of branches to raise the canopy and allow more light in.
- Brighten the area using pale stones, gravel or paving stones to reflect light.
- A small pond or water feature is also a light-reflecting option.
- Using plants with light or coloured foliage. Hostas are wonderful in damp shade. Slugs like it too!
- Pale flowers will glow in the shade but dark flowers will disappear.
- Textural plants will make the border more eye catching e.g. hostas, grasses, heucheras, globe artichokes
There is not enough space to mention all the plants, bulbs and perennials for dry or damp shade. Find a good gardening book or Google 'dry and damp shade loving plants' and you will have a pleasant surprise and a beautiful shady garden.
Who needs direct sun and bright colours when there are so many brilliant shades of green? Vegetables in a shady area? Yes, you can.
I found this quote in an old gardening manual, 'If you grow it for the flower of root, you need full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, partial sun is all you need.'
Here is a list of vegetables that will grow in shade or dappled sunlight. Keep in mind that no vegetable will grow in full, dense shade. But the following will produce with 3-6 hours of sun or fairly constant dappled shade:
- Salad leaves, lettuce, endive and cress
- Beets, radishes
- Swiss chard, leafy greens, spinach, kale
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