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An example of a shade garden

An Example of A Shade Garden

garden design basics garden design for specific spaces

Often you hear that it's impossible to create a beautiful garden as the site is too shady. Is it so? 

Shade may limit some functions that you have dreamt of having in your garden. (No sun loungers here!) However, the garden itself can be awe-inspiring even though it is shady. And there are lots of plants that love growing in there.


The quality of shade in your yard

A shade garden may be shady for different reasons. There might be tall neighboring buildings or large trees that cast long shadows. The shadows may move on-site as the day goes by, or the shade covers the site like a cape. 



Start by keeping a shadow diary (just kidding), but seriously investigate how the shadows and light play on your yard. Focus on which areas stay in the shade or sun almost all day and areas that get no direct sunlight at all. 

It's good to remember that the time of the year has its' own effect on the shadow patterns. 


Light and shade patterns of the garden

There are often areas in your yard that get sunshine, at least for some time during the day. It's easy to miss those, so take some notes to remember where those areas are. 
You can think of those scarce sunny areas as small clearings in the forest or a garden between shadow-casting buildings. They have the brightest part in the middle, and the shadows grow longer and create semi-shade on its' perimeters. 

You can use this valuable light and shade pattern information as a basis for improving your garden and planning your new planting areas.

You'll find a great example of a shade garden with a sunny' clearing' in the middle of Manhattan. More precisely, on 70th Street. 


A magical viewing garden

The garden is known as the 70th Street Garden, and it is part of the Frick Collection. The garden that sits between the museum and the neighboring house is meant just for looking at. And I would say that it is fabulous!

The garden was created in 1977. A noted landscape architect Russell Page planned the yard's composition, the central fountain, and pea gravel paths. He also did the planting design essential to the garden's charm, from colorful plantings to boxwood and trees.


In the middle of the yard, there is a large central fountain with an abundant mixture of pink water lilies and lotuses. The pool is in the exact perfect spot. The sunlight highlights it and the shadows frame it softly—like an ideal sunny spot in the middle of a forest of surrounding buildings.







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