Whether it’s due to the way your property is situated, natural fixtures like trees and shrubs or features you have added along the way, having shaded areas in your yard requires some special attention when it comes to landscaping. Many homeowners try to incorporate plants and flowers in shady areas that have no business being there, usually with poor results.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make good use of those shaded areas and make them a valuable part of the overall landscape picture. Here are some tips that will help.
Choose Plants that Like the Shade
If you want to fill your shady areas with plants and flowers, it stands to reason that you’ll need to choose plants that thrive in shady conditions. Many homeowners fall in love with the idea of certain plants and then just plant them where they have space, and if that ends up being a sun-needy plant in a shaded area, the results won’t be what you’d expected.
Here are some options that will allow you to have healthy plant life in your shaded areas:
- Bleeding Heart
- Japanese Forest Grass
- Dead Nettle
- Foam Flower
If you opt for multiple types of flowers and plants in the shady places, layer your selections with the tallest in back, mid-sized in the middle, and shortest in the front. This way, everyone will be able to see all of them and none of the appeal will be lost.
Adding Stone Features
Stones are a great choice for shaded areas, and you have a wide range to choose from. The most obvious choice is to just cover the entire area with decorative patio stones or pavers. You can choose from natural stone or even brick, in a range of colors, textures, and thicknesses. If you have patio stones in another area of the yard, you might want to include the same kind in the shade to continue the theme.
Another option is to add a stone statue or two to draw attention to that area and accentuate the overall landscape design. Other possibilities include small stone steps leading to a raised garden or stones acting as a border for plants or some other feature.
Relaxing Water Feature
Water features have both a visual and auditory appeal, and adding one in a shaded area can allow you to make good use of that space. Some examples include a fountain or a water feature that reflects light to create movement in an area that is otherwise a little dark. You can also add a little waterfall to bring the sounds of nature to your yard for a relaxing time when you’re outside. Most water features don’t require much maintenance and you can usually find ones that will fit smaller spaces and look like that’s exactly where they belong.
If your shaded area doesn’t seem to get much attention, adding a seating area will ensure that people spend time there as well as in the rest of your yard. Whether it’s comfortable chairs over a stone patio, a bench in front of a cute water feature or an outdoor sofa where people can lounge and relax, adding seating is a solid choice. The fact that it’s in the shade may even be extra appealing for an escape from the summer heat.
Repeating a Theme
A forgotten shaded area can be a great place to repeat a theme from another part of the property. As mentioned above in the patio stone example, your shady area may be an ideal opportunity to tie two or more landscaping themes together. Some of the possible themes you could repeat in a shaded area of the yard include:
- The style of the house or color of the siding
- Stone features from elsewhere on the property
- Adding planting containers to tie into other containers in the yard
- Elements from an outdoor kitchen or fireplace
- Walkways or pathways
If all else fails and you just can’t decide on what to do with a shaded area of your yard, adding a small utility shed or tool shed could be a good use for space. This may be more prudent if space is kind of out of the way, but you’d have a spot to store your tools, materials, etc.
Having shaded areas in your yard is no reason to worry about your landscape design. As long as you have a solid plan and incorporate shade-friendly plants and features, no one will even notice the shade.
If you are looking for a trustworthy landscaping team in Kansas City, contact High Prairie Outdoors!