. .
Take the Quiz
How to Brighten Up a Partially Shady Garden Area

How to Brighten Up a Partially Shady Garden Area

modern garden style planting ideas

When I visited this site for the first time, I was fascinated by its proximity to nature. You would see a seaside bay through the strip of deciduous trees growing near the shore, the rushes, and a glimpse of shimmering water. 

Birds sang in the trees, and a soft breeze moved the leaves high in the canopies.

It was such a lovely place to start redesigning the garden. One of the aspects was that even though the trees were gorgeous, they also cast shade on the backyard. And the shade made the backyard appear unnecessarily dark.


Adding Light with Yellow Leaves

As I was redesigning the yard, I wanted to brighten the space without removing the trees. (In addition, the trees grew outside the property, so there was no option even to consider that.) 

There are many ways to bring light to a shady area, but I decided to use shrubs with bright yellow leaves.

Yellow-leafed shrubs are a great way to add a feeling of light to the shady areas of the garden. You can find yellow leaves in perennials, shrubs, and even trees. The smaller-sized shrubs are handy as they give a significant amount of color, and because of their size, you can easily control the effect you want to create.

Do you see how fluorescent the shrubs almost seem to be in this shadowy part of the backyard?



An Extra Layer of Color 

The shrubs I chose for this particular garden space are called Japanese spirea 'Golden Princess' (Spiraea japonica 'Golden Princess'). They have a cheerful combination of colorful yellow leaves and pink flowers. Some might call it clashing, but they form a joyful and bright color combination that is easy to combine with other plants.

Yellow-leaved shrubs created a bright layer of color that I used as a base for the planting color combinations. 


Contrasting Garden Color Scheme

This backyard belongs to modern development, so I added some color contrast to create excitement for the planting areas. I enhanced the yellow and pink of 'Golden Princess' Japanese spireas with purple and blue flower accents.


Soft pink flowers combine these shrubs with the garden's purple and blue color scheme, and yellow is a contrasting color for purple. 

Do you notice how nicely the tips of the new leaves and buds connect with the purple blooms of ornamental onions?








Turn your Pinterest board full of garden dreams into reality with a set of solid guidelines to follow. It takes only 3 minutes, but the results will serve you for a lifetime.