No sun? No problem
No sun? No problem
If your garden doesn’t get a lot of sun, there’s no need to forego colour, variety and interest. Just choose plants that thrive in the shade.
“While many plants need sunlight to flower, there are quite a few that do well in part or full shade,” says Awapuni Nurseries gardening guru, Tod Palenski.
He says lots of people have areas in their gardens that are shaded by trees, buildings or fences.
“If you’re under-planting an area shaded by trees, be aware that their roots will dictate where you plant.”
To ensure year round interest, Tod suggests mixing pretty flowering annuals with perennials with interesting leaves.
“Impatiens grow really well in shady areas, and come in a range of bright colours to liven up a dark area. Awapuni has a range of colours in their traditional and easy-plant Pop’n’Grow seedling ranges.”
Tod says impatiens look best when planted in clusters among glossy-leaved perennials like hostas and clivia – both of which you can buy as fully grown plants at garden centres. He says the mix creates a lush, cool look.
“The idea with shady gardens is not to make them look too formal. One trick is to plant seedlings together in uneven numbers as this gives a more natural, less contrived look.”
To add more colour and interest, choose brightly coloured lobelia, and fill in any gaps with violas and pansies.
“Giant pansies look really pretty dotted amongst bigger plants, and they’ll flower right through winter.”
Hanging baskets are another great way to add colour to shady areas.
“They’re a quick and easy project and can be hung from trees or fences, or on hooks screwed to walls,” says Tod. “And they’re perfect for shady areas because you won’t need to water them as often as baskets hung in full sun.”
Choose a basket and fill with potting mix, then add plants in your chosen colour theme.
“Cascading lobelia mixes work well around the edges of a basket with pretty violas in apricot or citrus planted in the centre.”
Caring for shade-loving plants is easy, says Tod. Use an organic, copper-based slug bait to keep pests away and pick off dead flower heads to encourage new ones to grow.
“If you start now, once the summer heat arrives you’ll have a lovely, shady spot, so you can retreat from the sun.
“Think about adding a seating area – somewhere you can take a good book, a cool drink and a ‘do not disturb’ sign!”
Visit www.awapuni.co.nz for more of Tod’s great tips