It appears that summer has truly arrived here in Southern California, with temperatures breaking 90 degrees for the first time in what has seemed like an endless 5-6 months of an unusually cold and dreary winter. Our characteristic cloudless blue skies have finally returned, and with them comes a happy, if unrelenting, sun!
While we may have missed these long days of summer over our winter break, there comes a point where everyone needs a little bit of shelter from its powerful rays, and that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today. A little backyard garden getaway that can both give you the beautiful sunlight we’ve been waiting for and a little shelter when it becomes too much can enhance the love you have for your home and drastically improve the quality of your life.
To plan for our shade garden, we’ll turn to the experts over at The Spruce to learn the preliminary stages of setting up our refuge:
Shady areas are a challenge for a gardener: special plants have to be chosen that will thrive in this microclimate of your landscape, look good, and will be easy to maintain. What works in one region where it might be cloudy and damp, might not perform well in a shaded Mediterranean garden. Always consult local botanical gardens, nurseries, and master gardeners for tips and plant recommendations.
Planning Your Shade Garden
It takes research and planning for all sections of a yard, whether it’s a do-it-yourself project or one that’s handled by a professional. Consider these tips when designing a shade garden:
Choose a garden style: If you love tropical or cottage gardens, stick with your choice and be consistent throughout the yard. That way, everything flows without a distraction or interruption, as in, “What’s that doing here?”
Continuity and consistency: Yes, full-sun and light-shade plants differ. But aim to use the same or similar plants throughout the yard to tie it together, so it doesn’t seem like you accidentally wandered into someone else’s yard. Choose plants that grow in partial sun/shade to transition from one zone to another.
Containers: Plants potted in attractive containers can be easily moved throughout the garden, according to light needs and season.
Color: It’s no surprise that shade gardens tend to be a bit dark. Lighten the space with flowering shade lovers, a colorful container, or statuary.
Hardscape: Break up a potentially gloomy spot with rocks, boulders, a path, arbor, or other hardscape elements.
Water: Consider building or installing a fountain or other water feature to reflect light, create movement, and add sound to an otherwise quiet dark space.
Lighting: Subtle lighting that will illuminate the shady area in the late afternoon will draw attention to the space, highlight plant forms, and make the area more usable.
Once you have your preferences put down to paper, it’s time to call the professionals to make your dream into a reality. If you’re a southern California resident like us, the natural choice is to call Torrey Pines Landscape Company, the finest garden scapers in our corner of the country.
With your idealized getaway planned and a little help from some skilled landscapers, your garden will be a place of restorative power, a refuge you can use to escape the mental rigors of modern life. If you’re interested in making your ideal garden a reality, make sure to give the guys over at Torrey Pines a call:
Torrey Pines Landscaping Company
5560 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121