Design Ideas for a Shaded Backyard
Create Garden RoomsThis South Carolina backyard is long and narrow, which can present a design challenge. But one way to tackle that is to visually carve the space into a series of garden rooms. In larger backyards, it’s easy to get an informal look with a wandering path that that connects the spaces. Here, though, a straight flagstone path does the job nicely. It connects the back patio to the far end of the yard, and is accentuated by a fountain crafted from an urn and a white wooden Lutyens-style bench.
A pair of containers planted with caladiums and 'Angelina' sedum up front adds to the formal, structured feel of the backyard.
Choose Easy-Care PlantsPots of no-fuss Big begonias add nonstop color from spring to fall, no matter how hot, humid, wet, or dry the weather gets. Their bold red blooms bring an arresting element, even without getting sun. Flanking the patio, Endless Summer Twist-N-Shout and variegated Light-O-Day hydrangeas and ‘Guacamole’ hostas add seasonal color.
Another element that adds interest and help the small space feel larger is the way the homeowners mixed materials for the patio. The combination of flagstone and gravel is elegant and easy to maintain. Light-colored gravel helps to brighten the heavily shaded area, as well.
Incorporate TextureColorful begonias (or other shade-loving flowers, including New Guinea impatiens and wishbone flower) look even more spectacular when paired with highly textural plants, such as grasses or ferns. Here, a pair of potted asparagus ferns does the job. Their whimsical appeal compensates for their lack of bold, bright blooms. Variegated sedum brings in another texture that plays off the begonias and asparagus ferns.
See more delightful annuals for shade.
Repeat a ThemeRepetition is one of the most powerful tools in a garden designer’s toolbox. Here, a shaded window box planted with red Dragon Wing begonias visually connect the house to the patio. It creates a consistent, coherent look throughout the outdoor spaces. In this window box, silvery licorice plant accents the begonias.
Get more creative container gardening ideas.