Making the Most of the Shade

Your garden might not be in the prime position for sunlight, but that’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy plants there.

Struggling with Lawn Under Trees

Dense tree canopies can make an area too shady for grass to grow. Tree roots can hog all the water and nutrients around them causing turf to become dry and sparse.

Artificial turf can solve this problem giving you that lush green, health lawn of your dreams all year round. Another benefit is the money saved by not having to water, fertilise or treat the lawn for pests, weeds and diseases, which tend to be aggravated by shady conditions.

Bigger Flower Beds Under Trees

If you don’t like the idea of artificial lawn or want to keep your natural lawn, increasing the size of a flower bed under the trees can help the look of your garden. Bringing a flower bed out to where the grass dies back means you’ll get a clean and tidy looking lawn without the problem of it dying back under the trees. With a careful selection of plants that like dry shade, the area can look very effective.

Dry Shade Plants

Now you’ve increased the border, you need to fill it. With the right plants it’s not necessary to incorporate organic matter or fertiliser like ‘blood, fish and bone’ but it will help the plants establish quicker. Shrubs like Fatsia and Eleagnus thrive in and dry shade. Their lush evergreen leaves will give you colour all year without the stress of wondering whether they’ll fail in dry conditions. For something smaller try Hellebores or Solomon’s Seal. Bulbs like Daffodils and Snowdrops will do fine in dry soil and look lovely in the spring around tree bases.

Moist Shade Plants

Not all shady areas are dry. Moist shade is more comparable to the conditions in a woodland where there a streams and ditches. There’s a great selection of plants suited to this environment. Ferns and Hostas will thrive well in the damp soil and really create that woodland effect. Larger specimens such as Bear’s Breeches and Viburnum, will provide a great backdrop for smaller plants.

Dappled Patio

It’s a go to assumption that seating areas need to be in the sun. If you love the outdoors but don’t want to sit in blistering sun then patios under trees or under a pergola make secluded, private and magical places to sit in the garden. Why not scrap the area of turf or planting under trees completely and go for a natural looking paved area to enjoy the dappled sun through the trees or to retreat to when it’s just too hot? Make the space work for you, you don’t need to conform, do what works for you.

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