While it is possible to plant a garden in what we would call heavy shade, we do not recommend this. The number of plants that can actually do well in near complete darkness is considerably less than those that flourish in partial shade. Not only that, but you cannot see color well in a near dark area. It is for these reasons that shade gardens need constant tree pruning to stay optimized for light.
The amount of light that falls on your plants should be calculated by two factors. The most obvious factor is the shade resistant plants themselves. The other factor is whether or not you will use mostly flowering plants in your garden, or mostly evergreen plants.
Some species require what you might call a half shade effect. This is where the garden is exposed to full light for a few hours in the morning or the evening, and then resides in the shadow for the hotter part of the day.
It is necessary to have frequent tree pruning to maintain the balance between light and shadow here. Otherwise, the dark areas under the branches will grow to the point that light levels in the mornings and evenings will grow increasingly darker.
Generally speaking, a planting of evergreens works best in a half shade garden. Since the plants will be in the dark for the hotter part of the day, it is best to have varying shades of green that will add dimension to the garden even when it is darkness. Colorful flowers will not be seen as well during these times.
Other shade resistant species need partial shade throughout the day. This is what you might call a dappled shade effect. It is a superb aesthetic to combine with custom patio design, or a small fountain situated in a gravel patio under your favorite trees. It too requires constant tree pruning.
In a dappled shade garden, you can have more colorful plants. A full spectrum of color, as a matter of fact, can be created by mixing several different flowering species together.
Tree pruning is, in fact, absolutely essential to the success of this design because you will to ensure that the proper balance of light and shadow are maintained throughout the day. It is also necessary so you can enjoy the colors of your flowers anytime you look at your garden.
Keep in mind too that shade gardens are not meant to be added to a yard as singular landscape elements. As important as it is to fill no grow zone with organic life, the yard will tend to look overgrown if you simply add evergreens, flowers, or a mixture of both to grassless areas under your trees. When viewed from a distance, the garden will look like undergrowth springing up from the lawn.
Professional Houston landscape design calls for organic growth of any kind be contained within structures that create zones of interest and living environments. This is why 80 percent of yard can consist of hardscapes like patios and walkways. The key to making everything look vibrant is to use hardscapes to create structures that lend themselves to activities, and then use softscape like shade gardens to add a sense of nature.
Landscape maintenance services like tree pruning, fertilization, and garden maintenance are also integral parts of any landscaping plan. They ensure that the many forms we create remain as intended so they can work together to support your home architecture and enhance your property’s curb appeal.