It is important to have an area in your garden that is covered by shade, as it will provide a place for you to relax in the summer and be able to enjoy good weather. Yet people seem to be concerned that if they create sun shade in their garden they will be unable to have as many plants or a proper garden. However this is not true, here in this article we shall look at the different types of sun shade in the garden and what plants can grow.
Shade in the garden is mainly defined by the amount of time the area goes without sunlight, if you are choosing an area to place a shade sail, gazebo or garden structure then this part of the garden will probably have the least sunlight. Other areas of the garden may receive partial shade (which is defined at receiving three to six hours of sun a day) and plants that are growing here will need protection from the hotter afternoon sun.
If you have a sun shade area that you wish to grow some woodland plants in, you will have to make sure that you soil is rich so that the plants are healthy. In natural shaded woodland the soil will be covered with decaying leaf mould and a layer of mulch which keeps the temperature down and feeds the soil many nutrients. In the garden it is important to recreate these conditions with organic mulch and rich soil.
When you are looking at shade in the garden it is important to find out how the sun shade moves throughout the day. Shade is rarely fixed in one place and you are able to create focal points in certain areas of the garden that are lit up in the afternoon by the sun. Brighten the sunny areas of the garden by adding colourful plants that will further add focus to a certain area.
Finally be aware that a shade garden or garden with lots of sun shade is as much work as a regular garden and the soil and mulch will have to kept damp. Disease can spread easily with shade gardens due to the damp so make sure that you do not plant too closely and that there is good air circulation. Snails and slugs are also a problem for shade gardens as they will be attracted to the moist shade. The least cruel way to deal with this is to hand pick the snails and slugs during the growing season.
Dom Donaldson is a gardening expert.
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