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Oftentimes, extra effort is taken in the design of a shade garden, especially one that is a bit removed from the house, to draw visitors in. The garden can showcase an excellent collection of plants of varying foliage and texture but the garden in its entirety can be easily overlooked when viewed from afar. Here are three design tips to draw attention to your shade garden.

Lighten Up!

Shade gardens rely heavily on foliage and texture and thus, the color green. Shade gardens are admired for their calming, soothing tones and sanctuary from the heat of summer. So how do you get your shade garden of tranquility noticed? Add white. White flowers and foliage in a shade garden pops, it almost glows. The contrast of white impatiens against hostas, astilbe foliage and ligularia leaves is striking. If your garden can’t support impatiens, consider planting them in recessed pots within soil that is replaced each year. If white is too much of a contrast, consider adding plants with pale to lime green foliage. The early foliage of Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ lightens a dark shade garden as does the gently arching blades of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’. Coleus is available in a dizzying array of colors with wildly imaginative leaf margins. A coleus with splashes of lime green will definitely pop in a shade garden and draw you in.

Call Them In
Sight is not the only sense that is triggered by a garden. Scents can draw us in and even have us stopping mid-stride to inhale an intoxicating aroma. Have you considered appealing to your sense of sound? The gentle gurgle or splash of a fountain is soothing and most attractive in any setting. If a water feature is not an option, consider the deeper tones of a wind chime: metal or bamboo.

Rest Easy
Successfully designed gardens, be it a large garden estate or a cozy balcony garden have vignettes: small areas of design to attract the eye and draw the visitor in. This can be as grand as a long, impeccably manicured yew alley ending at a statue or a cedar bench approached by a stone path of a lighter color. In both cases, the lines of the main elements- the yew hedge or the stone garden path- direct our eye to the final element we are compelled to examine more closely- the statue or bench.

Not sure which direction is best for your shade garden? No worries, we can help. Call today to schedule a garden walkabout. 513-271-2332

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