Last Updated on May 8, 2023 by lindseymahoney
If you have a shady yard, you may think that having a beautiful garden is out of reach. However, with the right design and plant choices, you can create a stunning shade garden that thrives in low-light conditions.
Check out these 7 shade garden ideas for inspiration and tips on how to make your own backyard oasis.
Beautiful Shade Garden Ideas for Your Home
I am planning my own shade garden in our side yard and these inspiring shade gardens are giving me all kinds of ideas!
Along with planting a shade garden, I also have big plans to plant lots of cutting flowers in my backyard English garden beds.
1 | Colorful Shade Garden
Just because your garden is in the shade doesn’t mean it can’t be colorful! There are plenty of flowers and blooms that thrive in shady conditions.
Some popular options include impatiens, begonias, astilbes, and bleeding hearts. You could also consider adding some colorful foliage plants, such as coleus or caladiums, to add even more interest to your garden.
When selecting plants, be sure to pay attention to their light requirements and choose varieties that are well-suited for shade.
2 | Martha’s Side Yard Garden
Martha Stewart designed her shaded side yard to create a layered look. The plants vary in size with cut-leaved Japanese maples adding height in the back and peppering ferns and hosta throughout.
The fern fronds add texture and height throughout the flower bed and large-leaved hosta fill in lower levels of the bed.
3 | Winding Shade Garden
When areas of your yard won’t grow grass, plant a lush carpeting of foliage! In my opinion, yards with patchy grass do not preset a great first impression.
Utilize beautiful plants that thrive in the shade instead of trying to force grass to grow.
4 | Bright Foliage Garden
When designing a shade garden, don’t underestimate the power of foliage. While flowers may be the stars of a sunny garden, in a shady space, it’s the leaves that take center stage.
Consider using perennial plants with variegated leaves, such as hostas or heucheras, or those with unique leaf shapes, like ferns or Japanese maples.
By embracing the beauty of foliage, you can create a stunning shade garden that is both low-maintenance and visually striking.
5 | Natural Stone Pathway Garden
Using natural materials to create pathways is a fantastic way to add whimsy and clear walkways for visitors.
For a quick pop of color, consider using containers for plants that require a little more sun.
This not only adds visual interest but also allows you to move plants around as needed for optimal growing conditions. Plus, it’s a great way to add some color to a shady porch or patio area.
6 | Vertical Climbing Garden
If your garden is shaded by a structure like a garden shed, use that vertical space to grow shade loving plants. Consider shade-tolerant climbing plants like clematis, bleeding heart and climbing hydrangea.
Outdoor seating is another great addition to shaded gardens to enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast with a breeze.
7 | Wildwood Manor Garden
Adding a water feature to your shade garden can create a peaceful and calming atmosphere. Consider installing a small pond, fountain, or even a simple bird bath.
Not only will it add visual interest, but the sound of running water can also help drown out unwanted noise and create a relaxing environment. Just be sure to choose plants that can thrive in damp conditions if you opt for a water feature.
The Wildwood Manor house inside the Toledo Wildwood Metropark has the most beautiful formal garden that is free to visitors. The trimmed hedges give the garden a formal feel but are balanced out with brick pathways and layered plants that create a casual look.
When the weather starts to get warm, I love spending my time working on outdoor projects! Whether it is designing a whimsical garden or painting our pool, I am always busying myself with some outdoor home project.
I hope these shade garden ideas inspire you to your own little oasis in a shady area of your yard.
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