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How A Shade Garden Can Have Few Flowering Plants But Lots of Color

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side gardens

Side gardens spend a lot of time being bashed. Seriously. When people approach me at speaking events and ask me about garden design for side gardens the first thing they say is, “I have this awful space at the side of my house.”

My friends, that is not an “awful space”, that is an OPPORTUNITY for some serious garden love.

Above you see one of my side garden paths mid summer. Filled with Hosta, Fern, Bluebells, and Heuchera, it is nearly full shade with very little flower power, yet it is colorful and cheerful every day of the garden season.

Front right you see a few flower pots which are my only addition of a color punch. The containers are kind of the sprinkles on top of the ice cream; adding a little oomph to make the garden complete. Featured in the containers are annuals Coleus Kong Rose, Ipomoea Ace of Spades, and Impatien Trailing Fanfare Orange from the Ball Horticultural line of shade annuals.

What opportunities are you going to make this season for your side garden? This is the year to fix up that side garden with some pizzaz and whimsy.

Special Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am letting you know that Ball Horticultural supplied the annual plants grown in this garden. I  write many instructional stories and videos with their  flower and vegetable products and donate a large portion of the vegetables I grow to the local food pantry when harvested.

Photo taken by Brenda Haas.

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  1. Nice plant choices! I'm a HUGE fan of coleus. One of the few annuals that brings so much pleasure over such a long season that it's worth replanting every year.

  2. Shawna, do you have any advice for shade under a Norway Maple? Not only is it shady, but those little tree roots grow into any loose soil and mat it up tight. A few hostas are there, & some vinca. ???? Thanks!

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