Shady areas shouldn’t be ignored

In northern Europe shade is almost on par with an ugly word. The winters are so long and the summers can be temperamental to say the least. When the sun is out that’s where you want to be. In a garden design context this means that patios, terraces and the like are 9.9 times out 10 facing south. Most effort goes into making this sunny disposition as pleasant environment as possible. Who cares about the North? I reckon, however, that shady areas shouldn’t be ignored. Perhaps it’s not where you want to spend too much time lingering. It doesn’t mean that the shady area(s) can’t be attractive. The right plants can make all the difference.

Shady areas shouldn’t be ignored - Garden Room Style
Checking out plants thriving in the shade.

There are primarily two types of shade. The most usual one is where the soil never really dries out due to lack of warm sun rays, the ground is moist most of the time. The other is dry shade which you can find underneath, for example, trees. There lack of sun as well as the fact that the tree soaks up most of the moisture means little left over for other vegetation. It’s important to pick the right plants for these two different shade conditions.

A fern / Vinca minor combo.

Here I’m standing surrounded by greenery thriving in moist shade. Ferns love this environment! Vinca minor (Perriwinkle) make up most of the groundcover there are also a few Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s tongue) seen here and there. Epimedium x rubrum (red Barrenwort) is another plant drawn to at least (moist) part shade if not full shade. Plants that work where you are might be different. It’s worth doing the homework. In another future post, I will explore some plants liking dry shade.

Epimedium x rubrum (red Barrenwort)
Epimedium x rubrum (red Barrenwort)