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10 tricks to make your shady garden shine

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Urban Courtyard for Entertaining Modern Garden by Bestall & Co Landscape Design Ltd Modern
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If you have a shady garden, don't waste time wishing it got more sun, just make the most of it and add in a plethora of fabulous features that will make it extraordinary! Any gardener will tell you that a shady garden can easily be a beautiful space, if you plan and execute it properly, so we have compiled some fantastic tips for getting more from your darling, if a little dark, outdoor area. Let's get to it!

1. Use the scale to create a cosy vibe.

If your garden is shady, that's the perfect basis for a super cosy spot! Use the size of the area to your advantage and look to add some comfortable seating nooks and it will feel romantic as apposed to dark!

2. Keep your boundaries clean and fresh.

If you are desperate to add some light, you can create the impression with clean walls and fences! Grab a pressure washer and remove any mildew, so the sunlight that does creep in doesn't get halted by grime!

3. Amplify your trees.

Japanese style planting Modern Garden by Earth Designs Modern
Earth Designs

Japanese style planting

Earth Designs

Instead of focusing on the darkness of your garden, make some features stand out and overshadow the issue. Mature trees, with pretty blooms planted at the base will look terrific!

4. Add some colour.

Moroccan style garden Mediterranean style garden by Gullaksen Architects Mediterranean
Gullaksen Architects

Moroccan style garden

Gullaksen Architects

What's the best way to combat darkness? BRIGHT COLOUR! How bold you go is up to you, but let's be honest and say that this neon pink wall has added masses of vibrancy to this shady haven!

5. Showcase exotic plants.

Modern Garden with a rustic twist Modern Garden by Yorkshire Gardens Modern
Yorkshire Gardens

Modern Garden with a rustic twist

Yorkshire Gardens

Ask for advice at your local garden centre and find out which exotic plants really benefit from a shady location. You'll be shocked at how striking and dramatic some of the less sun-loving varieties are!

6. Employ every shade of green.

Small urban garden Modern Garden by Ruth Willmott Modern
Ruth Willmott

Small urban garden

Ruth Willmott

If you don't want to risk your flowers dying from lack of sunlight, how about embracing a host of different evergreens? Create a rich tapestry of bright and dark greens and you'll never bemoan a lack of light again!

7. Add climbers.

Reflected Glory - Holland Park Renovation Modern Garden by Tyler Mandic Ltd Modern
Tyler Mandic Ltd

Reflected Glory – Holland Park Renovation

Tyler Mandic Ltd

A shady garden can feel as though it is all walls and fencing, so cheer the look up by training climbers! Don't forget to get shade-loving varieties though, or your climbers will stretch up for sunlight and look bare at the base. Clematis is a great option!

8. Opt for large planters.

Lambeth Marsh House Modern Garden by Fraher and Findlay Modern
Fraher and Findlay

Lambeth Marsh House

Fraher and Findlay

The last thing you want, in a shady garden, is to commit to a permanent home for plants that you think will work, only for them to wither. Negate the issue with large planters that you can move around!

9. Accessorise cleverly.

Felsted Place Minimalist style garden by Aralia Minimalist Iron/Steel

Felsted Place


If you can't draw natural light into your shady garden, why not add some manmade illumination? A large outdoor fire, grill or firepit will make the whole area shine like nothing else!

10. Create a sociable ambience.

A shady garden naturally feels more enclosed and private, which is why sociable seating is a must! Imagine hosting a party in a cosy and secluded garden, with a few fairy lights in place! So lovely!

For more garden advice, take a look at this Ideabook: 15 smart patio ideas you'll wish you'd thought of before.

Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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