14 Gorgeous Shade Garden Plans to Turn Your Yard into an Oasis


Shade is an escape—a gift of nature that invites you to relax, listen to the birds chirping, or even shut your eyes for a catnap. Sift through our favorite free shade garden plans to find one that satisfies your appetite for color and suits your outdoor space best.

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Pink Spring Garden

Pink Springtime Garden Plan

Alliums, English bluebells, and primroses put on a spring show in this red-and-pink garden. A Japanese maple and hosta keep it vibrant into the fall. (Garden size: 17 by 18 feet)

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Year-Round Garden

Year-Round Plan

A mix of shrubs and perennials teams up to provide an eye-catching dose of color all season long. (Garden size: 17 by 30 feet)

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Formal Shady Garden

Fresh Formal Garden Plan

Dramatic tree-form hydrangeas create a striking contrast with the foliage from hosta, lady's mantle, and ligularia. (Garden size: 10 by 17 feet)

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Shady Birdbath Garden

Shady Birdbath Garden Plan

Surround a birdbath with a colorful ring of impatiens and polka-dot plants. You'll enjoy a bounty of color from late spring to fall. (Garden size: 9 by 9 feet)

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Bold Woodland Garden

Bold Woodland Garden Plan

A handful of hostas, impatiens, and redtwig dogwood combine to create a naturalistic planting with four-season interest. This colorful arrangement is well-suited for a spot beneath a canopy of trees. (Garden size: 6 by 12 feet)

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Shade-Loving Container Garden

Shade-Loving Container Garden Plan

A host of coleus yield such a stunning display that you don't even need flowers. This colorful grouping of containers is dazzling on a porch or tucked around a tree. (Garden size: 10 by 12 feet)

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Colorful Foliage Container Garden


Do you have a shady deck, patio, porch, or front entrance? This delightful trio of pots will pump plenty of texture and color into your least sunny spots. The colorful coleus leaves look great all season long! (Garden size: 8 by 14 feet)

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Hosta-Filled Shade Garden


Hostas are perhaps the ultimate shade-garden plant. These low-maintenance perennials come in a wide range of sizes, textures, and colors, making them both adaptable and beautiful. In this plan, vinca and hosta surround a fountain for a magical getaway on hot summer days. (Garden size: 10 by 12 feet)

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Partial-Shade Garden


If your spot is sometimes shady, but sometimes sunny, too, look to this garden plan, which incorporates adaptable plants that thrive in those in-between spots. A hydrangea anchors the back corner, while a bench framed by coleus invites enjoyment. (Garden size: 8 by 13 feet)

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Beginner Shade Garden

Beginner Shade Garden

We've combined some of the toughest shade-loving perennials—including witchhazel and hosta—in this garden plan. It'll look good through the seasons without requiring too much care. Just plant and enjoy! (Garden size: 8 by 18 feet)

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Shady Side-Yard Garden

Side Garden

Not sure what to do with the shady area along your house? We have your solution: This plan is designed for long-and-narrow side yards with lots of shade. It's filled with gorgeous, easy-growing plants to enjoy through the seasons. Use crushed rock, flagstone, bark, or brick for the pathway. (Garden size: 26 by 10 feet)

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Perennial Shade Garden

Shade Garden

This shade garden stuns beneath mature trees. Filled with ample color and texture—thanks to two types of astilbe and golden corydalis, among other brightly hued plants—this plan will give you plenty to look at through the year. (Garden size: 23 by 12 feet)

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Pocket Garden


Even shady corners can offer eye-catching impact. Use this garden plan to fill a small space with low-demand annuals and perennials that will bloom all summer long. (Garden size: 16 by 12 feet)

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Shady Foliage Garden


Since it's built around plants with large, vibrantly colored foliage, this shady garden only needs a small area for impatiens. (Garden size: 16 by 10 feet)

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