Add Lushness to Your Landscape with This Bold Shade Garden Plan

Enjoy beautiful color from spring into fall, thanks to foliage and flowers that don't need a lot of sun.

Contrasting colors and textures come together in this bold shade garden plan to create an eye-catching display that will look lush for most of the year. The design features a graceful river birch as a centerpiece, surrounded by concentric rings of easy-care shade plants in mostly cool tones of blue, green, and purple. Azaleas with warm red spring blooms fill the innermost circle. The fronds of Japanese painted ferns and sensitive ferns add delicate texture and help to vary the height of the bed's layers. The birch's canopy will provide just the right amount of shelter for the plants below.

bold shade garden plan illustration

Plants for Creating the Bold Shade Garden Plan

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 Bold 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.

More Shade Garden Plans to Try

Tips for Planting Your New Garden

Preparation is the key to creating a garden that will offer a lifetime of pleasure. Before you start plant shopping, review all garden plan materials. Then, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have a suitable spot for this plan?

The layout diagram shows the rough dimensions for the plan. In general, you can enlarge or reduce the size of the garden by adding or eliminating plants, although the character of the garden may change if you alter the size dramatically.

Do I have the right growing conditions?

Check the plant list to see if the plan will do best in sun, part shade, or full shade. Be sure that the plants are suited to your USDA Hardiness Zone.

Do I need to amend my soil?

Most plants thrive in moist, but well-drained soil. If you have soil with lots of sand or clay, amend it liberally with lots of organic matter, such as compost. You may also want to do a soil test to see if you need to adjust the soil pH or add fertilizer before planting.

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