How Much Sun or Shade!

Your local family run garden centre and coffee shop

How Much Sun or Shade!

Over the next few weeks I will give you some herbaceous perennial planting ideas including some combinations of flowers, colour and foliage to suit varying amounts of sun and shade in the garden. The old saying ‘right plant for the right place’ is important when choosing your plants.

Most gardens have different areas that receive different amounts of light depending to which direction they face and as to what obstacles such as trees, buildings, walls and fencing block the sun from shining into the garden at different times of the day.

In my own garden only the very middle of the garden is in full sun on a sunny day, the rest is partial, light or moderate shade. The light can also change in places too like mine did a few years ago, one bed was in sun for most of the day until I put a shed in its way, now it receives partial shade getting a few hours only in the morning, gradually I’ve altered the planting there to suit.

If you have a area that receives just a two or three hours of sun during the day it’s in partial shade. An area that doesn’t get any sun, but has the sky above it is in light shade and if the area receives diffused light for example through light tree canopies or like the mesh of our garden centre Shade House, this is called moderate shade.

Finally deep shade is the hardest area to plant being those deep shady areas under conifer hedges, dense tree canopies and large shrubs where there is very little light getting through. Also don’t forget how that light changes in winter too, that shadier area can become much lighter!

Its easy to think that ‘how much sun’ is the only factor in planting up your garden, consider your soil ph too, with a simple soil tester you can work out very easily whether you have neutral, acid or alkaline soil. The structure too, is it sandy or clay, chalky. Knowing your soil type increases your plant options as well as saving you time and money by not buying plants that will struggle to thrive.