A Flower Garden In The Kingdom Of The Shadow. Shade-tolerant Plants. Illumination. Site Formation. Photo

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A Flower Garden In The Kingdom Of The Shadow. Shade-tolerant Plants. Illumination. Site Formation. Photo
A Flower Garden In The Kingdom Of The Shadow. Shade-tolerant Plants. Illumination. Site Formation. Photo

Video: A Flower Garden In The Kingdom Of The Shadow. Shade-tolerant Plants. Illumination. Site Formation. Photo

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Video: Plants for a Shaded Garden | At Home With P. Allen Smith 2023, February

Any shaded area, except for complete darkness, can be turned into a beautiful flower garden or an exquisite border. Correctly selected shade-loving shrubs, perennials and bulbs will help with this. In such a shady corner it is pleasant to relax on a hot summer day, sheltered from the scorching sun, admiring the greenery and muted colors.

Flowers in the shade
Flowers in the shade


  • Light and shadow
  • What you need to know about a flower garden in the shade
  • Suitable plants for a flower garden in the shade
  • Agricultural technology for growing plants in the shade

Light and shadow

The luminosity / shade of a given garden area is determined by the duration and intensity of sunlight that it receives. At the same time, the degree of illumination of the same place changes depending on the season: it is influenced by factors such as the height of the sun, the duration of daylight hours, the presence of leaves on deciduous trees, etc.

The length of daylight hours is key for some plants to bloom: long-day plants (carnations, clover) require more than 12 hours of light per day to bloom, while short-day plants (poinsettia, chrysanthemums) need less than 12 hours of light per day. Plants have the ability to store light, so there is also the concept of the annual amount of light received by the plant.

In gardening sources, lighting recommendations for a particular plant mean the following:

  • Direct Sun - More than 3 hours of direct midday sun per day
  • Partial shade - about 3 hours of direct sun in the morning or evening with shading in the middle of the day, or good light without direct sun throughout the day
  • Shade, full shade - about 3 hours of direct daylight in the middle of the day and limited light the rest of the time
  • Scattered sunlight - sunlight that penetrates throughout the day through thin foliage or other partial obstruction.

What you need to know about a flower garden in the shade

The shadow is different. The shadow from the house is one kind of shadow, the shadow under the conifers is another, under the deciduous trees is the third. A dense dense shade, as a rule, forms under massive crowns of trees, under the canopy of often planted trees, on the north side of the house, in a coniferous forest, under old apple trees with an extensive crown.

  • If planting is planned under the trees, it must be remembered that the spruce gives a very dense, extensive shade, does not let rain water into the crown projection area.
  • The shade is thick under the oak, but the soil is always moist.
  • Maple casts a dense shadow, its crown lets rainwater through.
  • Linden gives a strong shade, does not allow moisture to pass through and dries the soil.

In conditions of dense shade, a special microclimate is formed, the humidity of the soil and air is higher here, so they warm up less, and the temperature is lower. Partial shade occurs where the sun is either before lunch or after, for example, from the east or west side of the house. Either only in the morning or only in the evening. A light (openwork) shadow is created under the canopy of trees with a rare openwork crown. Such a shadow is created by birch, pine, acacia, aspen, bird cherry, cherry, plum. Birch gives a diffused shade, but it dries the soil very much in a radius twice the crown. Bird cherry also dries the soil.

The plants used to create shade flower beds are very diverse. First of all, these are shade-loving and shade-tolerant plants. Shade-tolerant species thrive both in partial shade and in light shade, where they reach their greatest bloom, but they can also tolerate thick dense shade. An example of such plants are different types and varieties of astilba, aquilegia, basil, etc.

Shade-loving ones are distinguished by the fact that they cannot grow in full sunlight, but they feel great in conditions of dense dense shade. Most shade lovers prefer to grow on moist soils with high air humidity. In such natural conditions, these plants grow in the forest. There their attitude to light and moisture was formed. A striking example of moisture-loving shade lovers is the European hoof.

Clefthoof is a unique plant. It survives in the darkest places, under the branches of young firs. The scientific name for clefthoof asarum comes from the Greek asaros - "carpet". The Russian generic name "hoof" characterizes the hoof-like shape of the leaves of the plant. The clefthoof has another popular name - "wild pepper". Pounded fresh leaves of the plant have the taste and smell of pepper, but it is not recommended to prepare salads from it.

Flowers in the shade
Flowers in the shade

Suitable plants for a flower garden in the shade

Among the shade-loving plants there are those that prefer dry shade. Most of these are plants from the forests of the south of the Russian Plain, Central Asia, and Moldavia. These include different types of mountain goats, periwinkle, forest anemone, broad-leaved kupena, etc. The list below contains the names of perennial plants that can be used to create a flower garden in the shade.

In addition to perennial plants in the flower garden, you can and should use some types of shade-tolerant and shade-loving shrubs and conifers, lianas, as well as bulbous and annuals. Bulbous plants will delight you from early spring with their bright colors, and annual plants will cover some of the voids in the flower garden between the planted perennials, while the latter have not yet grown.

  • Shade-loving coniferous plants include decorative forms of common spruce, Canadian hemlock, common juniper, deciduous ones - holly mahonia, apical pachisandra, etc.
  • The list of shade-tolerant is wider. These are balsam fir Nana, Korean fir, pea cypress, juniper and Cossack, Serbian and gray spruce, western thuja and its forms, white turf, black elderberry, treelike hydrangea, panicle, etc.
  • Lianas: actinidia kolomikta, round-leaved woodworm.
  • Various types of ferns decorate the shady garden very much. Their beautiful openwork foliage looks good with most shade plants. One of the most beautiful ferns in our flora is the ostrich. It grows very quickly, forming openwork thickets.

When planting plants in a flower garden, you should follow a few simple rules. Large, vigorous plants are planted in the background or in the center of the flower garden if the flower garden is viewed from all sides. These plants make up the upper tier. Plants of lower growth are planted next, making up the middle tier. And plants are planted on tamping, creeping or ground cover, which make up the lower tier.

Plants growing in the shade are mostly distinguished not by bright flowering, but by the beautiful shape and texture of the leaves. Considering these features of plants and competently combining them together, you can create a flower garden that is unique in its beauty. You can find examples of shade flower beds on our website in the flower beds section.

Plants for dry shade


  • Aquilegia (catchment)
  • Aconite (wrestler) Fischer
  • Autumn anemones
  • Asperula (woodruff)
  • Badan (bergenia)
  • Basilist
  • Geichera
  • Geranium
  • Goryanka
  • Dicentra (broken heart)
  • Creeping insect
  • Iris fetid
  • Clefthoof
  • Crocosmia (montbrecia)
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lunnik
  • Cuff
  • Lungwort
  • Fragrant Mirris
  • Almond spurge
  • Hellebores (helleborus)
  • Digitalis (digitalis)
  • Forget-me-nots
  • Comfrey
  • Sedge, ogika and other cereals
  • Spring primrose and common
  • Hosta
  • Woolly chisel
  • Lamb


  • Wolfberry (daphne)
  • Gaultria (pernettia) pointed
  • Action
  • Keria Japanese
  • Magonia holly and creeping
  • Sarcococcus

Spring bulbous:

  • Anemone
  • Hyacinth
  • Hyacintoid
  • Kandyk
  • Muscari
  • Narcissus
  • Snowdrop
  • Scilla

Autumn bulbous:

  • Colchicum
  • Liriope
  • Cyclamen neapolitan

Plants for wet shade


  • Aruncus ordinary (Volzhanka)
  • Astilba
  • Brunner large-leaved
  • Angelica (angelica)
  • Starfish epipactis
  • Kupena
  • Lizikhiton Kamchatka
  • Lychnis crown
  • Lungwort
  • Euphorbia multicolor
  • Ferns
  • Noble liverwort
  • Sagebrush
  • Primroses
  • Birth
  • Sanguinaria canadian
  • Smilacina (mineik) racemose
  • Tyarella hearty
  • Trillium grandiflorum
  • Tricirtis taiwanese
  • Uvularia large-flowered


  • Aronia (chokeberry)
  • Eonymus
  • Hydrangeas
  • Viburnum
  • Camellias
  • Magonia
  • Rhododendrons


  • Akebia five
  • Common hops

    Plants in the shade
    Plants in the shade

Agricultural technology for growing plants in the shade

Most plants growing in shade prefer fertile, loose soil. Therefore, to create favorable conditions for plants, especially those growing under the canopy of trees, the soil must be carefully prepared. First of all, remove all weeds, preferably without using chemicals. Then - fertilize the soil. Clay and loamy soils contain sufficient nutrients, but heavy clays need to be improved by adding sand and peat.

It is good to add complex fertilizers, clay fertile soil or oily humus to sandy soils and mulch them from drying out. When planting plants close to the near-trunk circles, it is impossible to dig up the soil closer than four meters to the tree trunks, and even more so to raise the soil level in the near-trunk area. Annual leaf litter plays an important role in the formation of a fertile soil layer. If not removed, it will rot and form a loose layer of humus that is very nutritious for plants, and also serves as a good shelter for plants for the winter.

Another prerequisite for successful plant development is watering. Only if all the conditions of planting and agricultural technology are observed, your flower beds will delight you with their beauty and abundant flowering.

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