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Home Landscape Design Designing With Plants The Best Plants for a Shady Area
The Best Plants for a Shady Area PDF Print E-mail

by guest writer, Corey Palmer, for Rubber Matting UK

Selecting plants for their function or beauty that can survive and thrive in your climate is often a challenge. When landscaping a yard or planning a garden, another common obstacle is what to do with the shady areas. Successful shade gardening is not that difficult... if you go about it the right way.

Common problems with gardening shady areas is that leaves fall into the planting bed and water is sometimes a hard to come by commodity since tree roots will suck up as much water as possible. Selecting plants for a shady area that require less water is a good idea. Shrubs, ferns, wildflowers and vines that are native to your area make nice plants for your shady area.

Rhododendrons are bushes that are hardy and lush. The bushes flower in the spring in colors of white, lavender, pink or red. Hummingbirds love the red ones! For fall, the best shrub for color is the burning bush shrub is a good bet, but be careful! Burning bush shrubs are invasive and might take over your garden if you aren't watching. Yew bushes are a good option for a shade loving plant that is slow growing, meaning little maintenance is required. Yew bushes also produce red berries that make it a festive holiday decoration. 

Hosta plants make a lovely border plant and come in a variety of colors and leaf shapes. The leaves can be blue, yellow, green and sometimes a blend of those colors. The hosta produces flowers that are also varied. The yellow-leafed hosta is the one type that does require sunlight, while the green and blue varieties will lose much of their color if they are in the sun too much. Ask at your local nursery for a recommendation of the best variety of hosta for your shady garden.

Flowering plants that are perennial, such as Astilbes are a good option for your shady garden since they are beautiful and easy to care for. Primroses are a choice of flower if you are looking for bold-colored blossoms in spring that are red, yellow, pink or blue. Bleeding hearts make a wonderful addition to any shade garden with their distinctive heart shaped flowers with the "blood" suspended from the tip. Bleeding hearts are paired well with hosta plants in a shade garden.

Shrubs are a nice addition to your shade garden, and if done correctly, you will have beautiful color all year round. Adding a few hosta plants as a border and some flowering plants for some height, will round out your shade garden and make it beautiful as well as low-maintenance. In addition, selecting plants that are a bit rustic looking will allow you to leave the leaves!

If the look of scattered leaves is bothersome, you can always scoop up most of them, shred them and reapply as mulch. While leaf-shredders can be purchased for this task, the easiest way to shred your leaves is to run them over with the lawn mower.

With a little imagination and some research into the best type of plants for shady areas, you will have an inviting, lush shade garden in no time!

About the Author - Corey Palmer spends a great deal of time working in his own backyard and other areas around the house.  He also enjoys learning as much as he can about home improvement and other related topics.  Corey writes for Rubber Matting UK.