Create A Shade Garden Habitat For Wildlife
A simple wildlife friendly shade garden can look as lush and vibrant as any other garden habitat for wildlife. It comes down to using the right plants and making sure they are well watered.
With shade gardening available light is obviously an issue, a simple but effective approach to take is to plant safe so to speak. Meaning, initially use only shade loving plants that are easy to grow and then as the shade garden matures and it will, become more adventurous and consider using plants that are happy in a semi-shaded situation.
Our shade garden area is mainly caused by the garage during the morning and then in the afternoon by the trees that back onto our garden. Along with the Yorkshire stone wall it seemed to be a natural setting for a mini woodland garden, as our garden is not big enough for a "proper" woodland garden.
We've applied the strategy above and we are happy with the end result, especially as this section of the garden is sitting on concrete paving slabs which are bedded on all manner of rubble, lumps of concrete and who knows what else. We certainly weren't going to break our backs trying to find out.
Simple Strategies For Shade Gardening
Once we had decided to treat this area as a shaded garden it was relatively easy to make it work. By using containers and garden pots we were able to create a gentle sloped effect.
We were also fortunate to have a few medium sized tree trunks and branches that had been cut down in the garden, these we laid on the ground as would happen naturally in a wood.
We covered the bare slabs with all the leaves that had accumulated in different parts of the garden, then any old compost from anywhere we could get it from and finally several bags of bark.
Birds spend quite a bit of time disturbing the ground coverin this section of the garden and as far as we are aware they never go away empty beaked.
Nine Plants Shade Loving Plants For A Shade Garden:
Ferns, Hostas (use a diluted mixture of garlic and water to keep the slugs and snails at bay), Geraniums (semi-shade), Hellebores, Primrose or Primula's ( these will cross pollinate), Foxgloves, Bluebells, Daffodils, Snowdrops (Semi-shade).
It's always a good idea to find a local wildflower nursery if we can, they usually will be more than happy to give helpful advice and there are increasingly more reputable mail order wildflower suppliers.
A simple wildlife gardening tip is to consider a box of Wildflower plants for semi-shade which include: Betony, Figwort, Foxglove, Hedge Bedstraw, Oxlip, Primrose, Red Campion, Herb Robert, Selfheal, Tufted Vetch, Wild strawberry, Wood Avens, Wood Sage.
Or a box of Wildflower plants for shade which include:
Bluebell, Cow Parsley, Enchanters Nightshade, Fragrant Agrimony, Germander speedwell, Wood Avens, Wood Rush, Greater Stichwort,Hairy St. Johns Wort, Hedge Garlic, Hedge Woundwort, Upright Hedge Parsley.
There is also shade garden seed mixes available that we
can use to cast where we have planted out.
We might not want to sit in a shaded area of the garden for too long unless its a scorching hot day, but remembering that when we prepare our garden plan it's good to keep working with the shape and size of the garden, to keep stirring the senses with shapes, textures, colours and scents, and to keep it Satisfying to ourselves.