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Perennial Shade Garden

A perennial shade garden is a garden that is composed of shade resistant perennial plants. These plants can be surprisingly comfortable, and the number of species that can be planted in such a garden is much larger, and more diverse, than most people think. This gives virtual free reign to Houston landscaping professionals when it comes to creating shade garden designs that can support any sized yard and any specific style of Houston landscaping design.

Aesthetic Benefits
Perennial shade gardens fill in the empty spaces of yards and make them look more vibrant and diversified. Large, dark patches of ground can be rendered into a full spectrum of colors if so desired. Or, they can be transformed into a pattern of varying green shades that compliment the colors of trees, grasses, and shrubs that border walls, pathways, and fences.

A garden like this does not have to fill the entire shaded area, either, to be effective. It can reside within a network of walkways and patios that create something of an outdoor room in the cool places under the leaves. Sometimes this less is more approach to shade gardening can create even more drama and interest as softscape designs interact with hardscapes, outdoor furniture, fountains, ornaments, and trees in a myriad of colors, shapes, and varying levels of vertical impact.

Perennial shade gardens are often the key to transforming what appear to be an unusable spots in the yard into areas of prime interest. A narrow, asymmetrical area next to the house may receive so little light that no grass will grow there. Planting shade resistant ground cover, then adding a small private patio with a custom fountain, can turn this previous eyesore into a quite retreat for a couple.

The place in the yard you once avoided now becomes your retreat from the rest of the world—and the scorching summer heat—all with the introduction of a few hardy plants that need little very little maintenance once they gain a foothold.

Key Features
Most perennial shade gardens are composed of plants that vary in color and height. This is necessary in order to make the garden stand out in an area where light levels are low and forms are typically harder to distinguish than they are in full sunlight. The added variety of shapes within the garden makes the entire area more noticeable even when taken in by a casual glance.

Plant colors are often highly accentuated as well for the same reasons. Some plants receive as little as three hours of light during a 24 hour period. Since shadows cover the plants for most of the day, it is necessary to use brighter shades of green and brightly colored flowers that will be noticed regardless of how dark the surrounding area is.

The majority of perennial shade gardens are also further defined by hardscapes, rock borders, decorative gravel borders or small masonry walls. Again, this makes them stand out in the shadows with borders that can clearly be distinguished regardless of how much or how little light is striking the plants.


Functional Benefits
Two very practical financial benefits can be obtained from a shade garden composed of perennials.

The first is a reduction in the cost of lawn maintenance. With less grass to mow, there is less weekly or biweekly cost associated with lawn upkeep.

Most perennial shade gardens require less annual maintenance than other types of gardens. Many can be planted with drought resistant species that require little, if any water. Indigenous shade resistant plants can also be used that are already accustomed to the cycles of rain and periodic drought common to Southeast Texas summers.

Regardless of whether or not a Texas plant is technically “drought resistant”, if it is used to growing in the shade in our part of the world, it can probably take care of itself without needing anything more but minimal, occasional human care.