Garden Solutions Center Blogs
Take your passion for gardening to the next level with inspired posts.
How to Create Shade and Sun Gardens
Make plans to plant a garden, and one of your first and most important decisions is whether you should plant a shade garden or create sun garden plans. Knowing which type of exposure to plant for helps you create your ideal garden.
While a shade garden could mean a spot in deep shade, it can also be a location that receives dappled sunlight throughout the day or a short amount of morning sun followed by afternoon shade. Shade garden locations tend to be northern or eastern.
A sun garden is defined by a location that receives four or more hours of sunlight throughout the day. Such a location is usually located in a southern or western exposure.
Plants for shade and sun
To have success with sun or shade gardening, you must choose plants that are suited for each type of growing condition. A shade plant will not grow well in a sunny location. The harsh rays of the sun will burn the tender foliage, and the plant is likely to die. Likewise, plants that require sun to thrive will do poorly in low-light conditions. They will experience stunted growth, and if they flower or fruit, they are unlikely to do so in shady conditions.
Determine if plants are for shade or sun by consulting the plant tags and inquiring with nursery personnel. A reputable garden center will have the shade plants on display in shady conditions such as under shade cloth, whereas the sun plants will be out in full sun.
Some popular shade-loving plants include impatiens, begonia, coleus and Japanese maple. For sun plants, you’ll find geranium, rose, petunia and black-eyed Susan.
Sun garden plans
For the best presentation with a sun garden, use the layered method when planting. This requires that you plant tall plants in the back of the garden, followed by medium-sized growers in the middle and then finish off the front of the bed with low-growers and ground covers. Such a planting scheme guarantees that you get a good view of all of the plants at once.
Shade garden plans
Build an eye-catching shade garden by creating a backdrop of foliage in varying shades of green and accenting with variegated foliage that includes colors like red, purple and yellow. Then, place flowering plants that prefer dim conditions in strategic spots throughout the shade garden.
If you will be viewing or enjoying the shade garden at night, include white- and silver-colored flowers and foliage, as they will appear to shimmer in the moonlight.