The Q&A Archives: partial shade large area

Question: I have an area of 22 feet by 8 feet in the front of my house (north side) that is currently receiving partial shade in most of the area and part of the area is all shade. The space is between my front walk and house and on the west side by my driveway. I want to make the whole area full of plants and possible bush or small tree. I was wondering what would be good to fill the space, I am tired of the dead space of that small piece of grass.

Answer: You might be able to create a lovely scene along the walk by adding a small permeable area patio and bench or two as a focal point on one side and a large summer flowering shade loving shrub such as Clethra alnifolia or Calycanthus floridus on the other. To layer beneath and around these you could use a groundcover such as a variety of sizes and colors/patterned foliage of hostas (some are three feet tall and wide or more) and mixed hardy ferns. Many other perennials will do well in shade including Hellebore, Pulmonaria, and Lamium to mention just a few. Annuals for summer color in a shady spot would include impatiens, coleus, and begonias among others. Your local store staff may have additional suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the planting site and your design goals. Have fun with your project!

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