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Shade Gardening for Color

Aug 17, 2007
If thoughts of shade gardening bring about visions of densely wooded landscaping with plantings under trees in various shades of green, then this article is for you. You should know that there are all types of shade possible for shade gardening. These various levels of shade allow you to have lots of color as well as the different types of green and silver foliages.

Shade comes in three basic varieties for the shade gardener: light, medium and deep. But you should know that there are variations on this such as morning and afternoon shade, dry and moist shade, dappled shade and more. Each of these types of shade allows you to include in your gardening different plants and flowers that will bring lots of color to your shade garden.

To begin with, you should look at how you are providing the shade of whatever type it is you have. Are tall trees, shrubs, pergolas, buildings or other structures providing it? This can be the first place you look for color. Your trees can provide seasonal color by either the blooms they bear in spring or the color the leaves turn in the fall. Some trees, such as the Japanese maple, can even color the garden floor by carpeting it with its red leaves.

If you have little to no shade and want to begin shade gardening, then trellises and pergolas may be just the thing for you. Not only can you create shade with the plantings that grow up and over your trellises and pergolas, you can provide more color with your choice. Consider choosing beautiful flowering vines such as morning glories or clematis. Just check into the lovely gardening books to pick ones that are right for your area. Better yet if you can visit and see the flowering vine at your local nursery and know the real colors of flowers they provide.

Now you need to consider what to grow in the middle area under your trees. Usually this is where your shrubs and taller plantings will come in. Look for colorful azaleas and rhododendrons if they will grow in your area.

Lastly you can provide more color with your shade gardening by looking for colorful plants that grow closer to the ground or seem to make small mounds. Some of these would include the ivy-leaf cyclamen (only for no frost areas), wood anemone, Grecian windflowers, and crested iris.

Just don't look for flowering plants to provide your color while shade gardening. Look at plants whose foliage provides beautiful colors. Among these you would find coleus and caladium.

Copyright 2006, Sandra Dinkins-Wilson
About the Author
Looking for more Shade Garden articles? Discover all kinds of Flower Gardens at our site, http://flowergardenlovers.com/ Find articles about garden rooms, gardening tips, and more.
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