Nobody’s born knowing everything.  The secret life of plants can be mysterious and intimidating.  So, it’s easy to position plants in the wrong part of your yard, when you’re a rookie gardener.

But that’s why we’re here, sharing some basic landscape design to maximize your yard’s sun and shade areas.  Let’s read about how it’s done.

Deciphering the Shades of Shade

How many rookie gardeners have walked into their garden center and scratched their heads upon reading the words “partial shade” or “light shade”?

Who defines these things, right?

Let’s de-mystify the shades of shade:

  • Partial shade: less than 5 hours per day of direct sunlight.  Plant closer to trees.
  • Full shade: less than 1 hour per day of direct sunlight.  Plant where grass is thin.
  • Deep shade: No sun at all.  This is seen in heavily treed areas. Yup, some plants (ferns, for example) like that sort of thing.

So, now that you know what the shades of shade mean in practical terms, let’s move on to the plants themselves.

What Do Plants Want?

You can talk to your plants (we do that sometimes) but you can’t read their minds.  Nevertheless, plant varieties have been subject to a lot of study and homespun wisdom, so trial and error has taught the gardening world what plants want.

Garden centers are quite helpful in identifying plants, defining their needs in terms of sun and shade and grouping plants with similar needs together.

That certainly makes your life easier, when you have a specific part of your garden in mind.  But your best bet is to have a chat with the landscape professionals at CI Landscape.  We’re well-informed about plants and how they do in our climate here in New Jersey.  We can make plant selection easier and more reliable.  We even guarantee the performance of plants we position for up to six months.

We totally know what plants want.

Pulling It All Together

So how does one unite plant factions?  On the one hand, you have a faction of shade-lovers.  On the other, sun-lovers.  Can a bridge be built between these two factions?

It can be done.  Visually pulling your garden together is as simple as introducing a unifying element.  Hardscaping can achieve this with items like flagstone paths.  By adding a unifying theme, you’ve created harmony among your plants – regardless of their preference for sun or shade.

You can also use plants which have a high tolerance for both sun and shade as transitional plants, which then becomes another unifying element.

CI Landscape

Knowing the conditions in your garden and what kinds of plants are going to be happiest there (in sun or shade or a combination of the two) is foundational to maximizing your garden’s potential.

At CI Landscape, we’re creative professionals who bring years of experience and horticultural knowledge to your yard.  We work with you, to create the ideal outdoor space, conforming to your needs and tastes.

Ready to build 2019’s most beautiful garden?  Contact us.  Let’s work on that.