Make a not-so-sunny spot in your yard look professionally landscaped with this simple design.

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When you're just starting out in gardening, it's a good idea to go slow and keep things simple. For example, if you have a shady corner of your yard that you're looking to fill, this beginner shade garden plan weaves together a handful of low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plants to create a beautiful display that's just about foolproof. A witch hazel serves as a focal point, especially when it begins blooming in late winter before its leaves appear. The cheerful flowers of astilbe and false forget-me-not keep up the floral show in spring, while the striking variegated leaves of hosta and Solomon's seal ensure that the garden looks colorful even when nothing is blooming.

beginner shade garden plan illustration
Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Beginner Shade Garden

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Beginner Shade Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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Comments (1)

Anonymous
June 20, 2018
I used this as a starting point many years ago and it made shopping and planting and maintenance so easy. I modified some of the plants based upon what was available at our local nursery/best suited for our area and it turned out really nice.