Tips for Shady Gardens - Garden Care

Tips for Shady Gardens

Tips for Shady Gardens

Shady spots in your garden might not fit in with the ideal sunny summer garden motif, and can provide quite the challenge to any gardener,  but when you embrace the shade, you can greatly enhance your garden and make it much more varied in both look and atmosphere.

This month, we’re taking a look at some of the things you can do to take advantage of the shade in your garden and create the perfect relaxing garden retreat.


One of the best ways to take advantage of a shady garden is to install a path which routes through darker areas and spaces covered or flanked with high foliage, or particularly thick bushes or trees. Often, it’s best to use what you have when it comes to shaded zones, and a stone footpath taking you directly through the shade will create an attractive, pleasant walk through an area you might otherwise neglect.

A path also help bring purpose and structure to your garden – and structure can be incredibly important if you want to make certain parts of your garden feel distinct, while also making it easier to manage and maintain your garden over time.


Adding mulch not only adds visual appeal, but also helps promote a healthy garden by limiting the growth of weeds, and helping the soil to conserve moisture and nutrients. Mulch can also be used to create a striking pathway – one that is drastically cheaper than stone or other material. A bark mulch pathway will effectively complement the softer atmosphere of the shaded sections of your garden.

Edge the mulch pathway to prevent it from flowing over into side vegetation – and keep mulch away from the base of trees to prevent rot.


Shaded spots offer the perfect opportunity to take advantage of colour; you can create some truly spectacular arrangements by making use of eye catching flowers and shrubs, and it also helps to pay attention to structure so you can curate the ideal look.

Shrubs are always a prudent choice for any garden; they require very little maintenance besides regular deadheading, while offering great visual appeal for many years. Hydrangeas are suited to shaded or semi-shaded areas, and the vibrant colours on offer from blooming hydrangeas can create a stunning backdrop that is particularly effective in the shade as the flowers will have a chance to really stand out. Climbing hydrangeas can also be used to add verticality to the garden, as well as adding variety to the texture.

Amethyst flowers are also a good shade-specific choice. Best in filtered sunlight, the star shaped blue looks great whether they’re hanging in a basket or peppered alongside a dark pathway. You can do so much with certain plants and shrubs, so it is definitely worth discussing your options with professionals to help you find the ideal species to suit your tastes.

Seating area and features

If you have the room, a shaded seating area can become a focal point for relaxation in your garden. A few garden chairs resting underneath a canopy of trees is an ideal spot to sit back and relax in the heat, and taking time to border the area with shrubs and a variety of coloured flowers will set an appealing tone.

A water feature like a small fountain or stream will also fit nicely here. If you can, it’s always useful to take advantage of height, so a tall fountain or waterfall-like feature in the background will provide multiple layers to the garden.

Edges and borders

Like pathways, edges and borders help establish structure, and allow you to curate your own unique look. Gor for long, clean, straight lines if you want to go the contemporary route, and feel free to experiment with colour. Dark stone borders bedded with a variety of coloured plants gives a modern, attractive look, or you could use borders to have fun with different textures. Use different sections to try different things to make each shaded area feel unique. If you have one long, unbroken area of shade, it won’t hurt to slowly change colours, textures and arrangement as you go, to give a continuous feeling of change throughout.

Court Farm Garden Centre provide a wide range of high quality garden tools and equipment, and our team are fully committed to providing exceptional customer service to help you find exactly what you need. We have supplies to help you realise your dream garden, no matter the season or size, so dont hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information or for any help and advice.

Click here to arrange a free estimate

Expert garden design and planning service

Advice on planting and creating a garden oasis

We offer a comprehensive garden maintenance service