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Home > Types of Gardening > Shade Gardening > Design considerations
Design considerations for shade Gardening
Design considerations of shade GardeningBright, bold colors are less common in shade tolerant plants than in sun-loving ones. Flowers are usually produced less abundantly in the shade as well. For these reasons, shade gardens are often more subtle and restful than sunny ones. Plant textures, forms, and slight color differences become more important elements of the design. Texture has many aspects. Large-leaved plants such as hostas have a coarse texture, while finely divided fern fronds create a fine texture. Strong contrasts in texture accentuate their differences. Use strong textural contrasts only where emphasis is needed.

Pyramidal or upright, columnar plant forms serve best as accents in the shade. Rounded, weeping, or spreading forms create a more spacious effect and can be used more liberally in the design.

Glossy leaves have more impact than dull or velvety ones. Variegated or yellow-green foliage is evident in the shade more than solid green or blue-green foliage. Light colors -- white, cream, yellow and pastel pink -- stand out in the shade. Deep reds, blues and purples may fade into the shade unless set off by a contrasting lighter color. To emphasize plantings in the shade, concentrate on plants with light-colored flowers or foliage.
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