Small Gardening in a shady yard
Even the best backyard garden ideas are at the mercy of their surroundings and having a lot of shade cover can put a crimp in your plans. But having a lot of shade trees does not mean you have to go without a beautiful garden. Even if vegetables are out of the question, there are a number of ground covers and other plants that will do just fine in the shade.
Assuming the trees that create the shade are on your property, you will most likely have a lot of tree roots to deal with as well as shade. If that is the case, you can easily grow ground cover plants such as Periwinkle that don’t require a lot of sun and will do quite well in a shady spot.
I’ll bet that some areas of your garden space get more sun than others and those can be used for plants that need more sun to be happy. If need be, consider some judicious trimming of tree limbs to allow more sun where it is needed. Once a space with more sun has been found, determine how many hours of sunlight it will receive each day. This is your baseline for what plants are going to thrive and which will not.
Any reputable garden store is going to have a selection of plants that will do well in the sun and shade environment you have. If you choose perennials, you can look forward to many years of seasonal beauty. One tip is to plant them a few inches apart as they will grow to fill the spaces between them so planting them too close together leads to your plants not having enough room to grow.
Other options for your shady spots include Coleus, some ferns, Pachysandra, and, of course, Chrysanthemums which are probably the easiest of all perennials to grow successfully.
Another tip is to pay attention to the amount of water your plants are receiving. Depending on how thick a canopy your trees provide you might have to provide additional watering to the plants in the shadiest parts of your small garden.
Don’t think that a shade canopy will prevent you from creating a colorful and beautiful small garden on your property. With planning, forethought, maybe some tree trimming, and the right choice of plants even the shadiest of yards can enjoy a small garden bursting with color and texture.