Too Much Shade In Your Garden?

On a hot summer’s day, it can be nice to have some shade in your garden to escape to. However, it’s possible for a garden to have too much shade – your garden could end up feeling cold and gloomy, and you may struggle to grow anything. 

Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with a shady garden. Below are just a few tips on how to manage a garden with too much shade.

Large shady garden

Cut back trees

If overhead trees are causing too much shade, consider whether it’s possible to cut them back. Trimming back a few branches and even pruning a few leaves could allow much more sunlight to pour through into your garden. You can hire tree surgeons to cut these trees back.

Removing a tree entirely may be possible, but is generally not recommended unless the tree is a danger. Besides, it is not easy to get permission to remove a tree – even if your local planning committee agrees, local neighbors may protest if the tree provides privacy.

Let sunlight through fences

Large panel fences and walls could be blocking sunlight out. Consider whether it’s possible to let some sunlight through by switching to lattice fences or picket fences that allow some light to poke through.

Some of these fences may reduce privacy for you or your neighbors, so you must be careful when installing them. If it’s a fence adjoining a neighbor’s garden, you will need to ask them for permission to add a lattice fence, as they may not like the idea of you being able to see into their garden.

Open fencing in garden

Embrace shade-loving plants

While most plants require a fair amount of sunlight to thrive, there are some plants that can grow well in very low levels of sunlight. Many plants found on forest floors are able to grow well even with a heavy canopy and may even grow poorly if exposed to too much direct sunlight. These are ideal for shady areas of your garden. Just make sure that these areas of your garden are getting some sunlight and that they’re not permanently cast in a thick shadow. 

What are some examples of shade-loving plants? Foxgloves, hydrangeas, ferns, and hellebores are just some examples. There are also a few vegetables and herbs that grow well in a shade garden. Consider choosing these plants in shady areas. 

Make the most of suntraps

While most of your garden may be shady, there could be some areas that get a little more sunlight throughout the day. Take advantage of these areas – if there are plants that you want to grow that require more sunlight, make sure to place them in these sunnier spots.

It could also be worth adding a couple of chairs or even a table here so that you have somewhere in your garden to relax and soak up the sun. Make sure that this furniture isn’t blocking out any plants that you wish to put in the area, or choose glass furniture that the sun can shine through. 

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