Finding space for a garden can be quite frustrating. Whether you live in an apartment or in a small town, there are many obstacles when it comes time to plant. The most common of these is the struggle between sun or shadow. While many garden favorites require full sun, striking a balance between light conditions can be a long process of trial and error. Fortunately, experienced growers can learn to use gardens with different light intensities to their advantage.
Using Summer Garden Shade to keep plants fresh
Every summer, a small portion of my garden is filled with annual flowers that love warmth. These plants enjoy places that receive full sun all day long. Depending on the type of plant, only the most difficult blooms can withstand the intense summer heat. Celosia, sunflowers, tithonia and zinnias are the pillars of these flower beds, as they thrive in these conditions. However, full sun is normally a commodity in my backyard. But it wasn’t always like this.
As a beginner gardener, I was continually disappointed by the lack of planting space with full sun exposure. Several large maples towered over my garden. These covered most of my growing space in a blanket of shade for much of the afternoon. This meant that many of my sun-loving plants did not bloom as they should.
Over the years, I have continued to add new plants to the garden, desperate for those that would have performed well in a partially shaded space. Only when I started growing more delicate and heat sensitive plants did I learn what my shadow was.
As many southern gardeners know, the heat of summer can be relentless enough for both plants and gardeners. Under normal conditions, plants such as dahlias and hydrangeas would begin to wilt and wither in the afternoon sun. Planting in shady areas of my garden, however, allowed for cooler direct sun in the early morning and late evening. The intensity of the sun and the heat during the hottest parts of the afternoon were no longer a problem, no more wilting or wilting of plants. The darker conditions allowed me to grow healthy, beautiful (heat sensitive) flowers without further care.
Not only did this shade keep the plants cool, but the shady afternoons made the growing space a pleasant area for me too, a great place to relax and unwind after a stressful day at work. As it turned out, those large shade trees would prove to be a valuable resource for my garden.