10 Garden Landscaping Ideas for Shady Garden Spaces


If you’re looking for ways to brighten up your shady garden, look no further than our gallery of ideas. These 10 gorgeous landscaping ideas will help transform your space from dull and dreary into a beautiful garden oasis. From Zen gardens to jungle oases, these projects will give you inspiration for turning your under-utilized backyard into the envy of all your neighbors!

Create a Zen garden

Zen gardens are a great way to add beauty and tranquility to your shady garden space. They can be done in small spaces, so it’s easy to fit one into an existing yard or patio. Zen gardens include stone and pebble walkways, water features such as koi ponds or fountains, benches for sitting and reflecting on life’s beauty, rock gardens with moss-covered stones that provide a peaceful place for meditation, wooden bridges for crossing streams or brooks (though there isn’t much room for privacy here), small patios located over the stream where you can enjoy sitting outside without worrying about getting too hot from the summer sun (you’ll get plenty of shade from nearby trees!), sand gardens that contain many different kinds of plants but no dirt because they’re planted directly into sand molds instead of soil—these are very popular in Japan where they’re known as “Zen raked sand” gardens due to their minimalist appearance once completed!

Design a jungle oasis

A shady garden can be a little tricky to work with, but it is possible to have a lush and beautiful space that’s still well suited for your home. Here are some tips for creating a jungle oasis in your garden:

  • Choose plants that grow well in shade. Some plants don’t mind the light levels of shadier spots, while others need more sun to thrive. If you’re planting new shrubs or trees, try selecting ones that are native to your area—these tend to do better than non-natives because they’re used to the climate and soil there!
  • Use plants that are easy to maintain. Look for perennials that require minimal care or annuals that need only occasional watering during dry spells (in other words, anything low-maintenance). This way you won’t have much upkeep on this part of your yard!

Add a water feature

Water features can be simple or elaborate, depending on your budget and the vision you have for your garden. Small water features can add a focal point to your shady space, while large ones can be used to provide a calming effect and attract wildlife. Water features are also great at adding a sense of tranquility to an otherwise busy area.

Some of the most popular water feature designs include rock-lined pools with cascading waterfalls, bubbling basins with stone facades and fountains that spray gently upwards into the air like raindrops.

Incorporate hardscaping

Hardscaping refers to the use of hard materials in landscaping. These may include brick, stone, wood and metal. Hardscapes can be used to create a path in your garden, form a border around the perimeter of your property or serve as an attractive focal point in your landscape design.

Some common hardscapes include: stone walkways; brick patios; wooden decking; stone retaining walls and waterfalls made from rocks or concrete blocks.

Plant colorful annuals

Not all annuals are the same. Some are better suited to shady gardens than others. For example, some like a lot of sun and can’t take any shade at all, while others thrive under the cover of trees or tall shrubs. The good news is that there are also plenty of colorful annuals that will grow well in your shady garden space.

For best results, you’ll want to combine different types of plants together in your garden bed so that you have some tall plants as well as some shorter ones with different textures and colors. You might also consider mixing up annuals with perennials or even bulbs (if you don’t mind waiting for them). Here’s a look at some popular choices:* Sunflowers – Tall sunflower varieties make good background plants for other flowers.* Blanket flower (Gaillardia) – This perennial blooms from spring until frost.* Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) – It’s easy to grow this variety from seedlings; it grows in full sun or partial shade.* Red poppies (Papaver rhoeas) – These bloom mid-season and come in many different colors.* Marigolds (Tagetes patula) – Marigolds are great for attracting beneficial insects

Use plants to create privacy

There are many ways you can use plants to create privacy in your garden.

  • A hedge is one of the most popular ways to create privacy, and it’s also a great way to add color to your yard. You can plant hedges that grow tall or short, depending on what look you’re going for. You can even choose from different types of hedges, like boxwood or yew (if you want something more exotic).
  • Boxwoods are also great for creating fences and walls in your garden space. These plants can grow tall enough so that no one can see over them, making them perfect for any outdoor area that needs some privacy.

Grow a lush lawn

If you’re looking for a lush, green lawn that takes up a lot of space in your shady garden, look no further than the big three turf grasses: fescue, ryegrass and bluegrass.

They all grow well in shady areas and require minimal care. However, if you want to change things up every once in a while (or every year), try adding some variety by including a few more types of grasses to your lawn design plan.

A mix of different colors will make your yard pop with color while keeping it interesting at the same time.

Plant lush vines

Planting vines is a great way to cover otherwise unsightly structures, like fences and walls. If you have an arbor or pergola in your garden, consider planting vines along its length or on either side for a lush look that can easily be maintained by cutting back once or twice a year.

Vines can also be used to cover trees in your yard. Vines are particularly useful because they’re versatile: some may require training, but others will climb on their own if the plant is strong enough (eucalyptus, clematis and wisteria are examples).

If you want something simple and low-maintenance for your shady garden space, consider these options:

  • Boston ivy (also known as Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a popular option because it grows quickly—within one season it can completely cover any structure! It also requires little care beyond occasional pruning since it doesn’t need much water once established. This plant works well around fences and walls since it doesn’t have thorns like other vines do; however make sure its roots don’t interfere with any pipes underground!
  • Grapevine (Vitis spp.) makes an elegant addition since its flowers bloom during springtime while providing ample shade during summer months too! This vine will grow up trees over time so make sure there aren’t any branches within reach before planting one near them—you could end up damaging them if there’s not enough room between where each becomes bare soil underneath rather than foliage.*

Incorporate pavers and walkways

Pavers and walkways are an excellent way to add interest, color, and beauty to your shady garden space. They’re easy to install—you can do it yourself or hire a landscaper—and they’re relatively inexpensive too, so they’re perfect for smaller gardens that need a little extra something.

You can choose from an endless variety of different types of pavers. They come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors and textures, so you can really make your garden unique! You can even use pavers as patio furniture or create benches out of them!

Surround your home with flowers and plants, vines, stones and all the texture you can find. It will transform your shady garden into a canopy of beauty.

Surround your home with flowers and plants, vines, stones and all the texture you can find. It will transform your shady garden into a canopy of beauty.

If you have space, there are plenty of ways to make the most of it by designing something that’s beautiful but still practical.

These tips will help make your shady garden is one of the most beautiful places in your home. You provide the plants and creativity; we’ll provide advice on which ones to choose.

  • Make sure to choose plants that are suited to your climate. This is especially important if you live in a temperate area (think: around 70 degrees Fahrenheit) that gets a lot of rain, snow and wind during the winter months but still has some warm days during summer.
  • Choose plants that are suited to your space. If you have an area with lots of sun exposure, then opt for shade-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias; if it’s shady outside but still receives at least six hours of sunlight during the day, then consider adding something like lavender or roses instead; if it’s shady most of the year with only one or two hours of sunlight each day, go for something ground-covering like ivy instead – but only after taking into account whether this would be okay with whoever owns/rents out their house!
  • Choose plants that are suited to your time (or lack thereof). Do not waste time on annual upkeep! Try perennials instead as they require less work yet look just as good over time – or better depending on their species type! Plus they can last multiple years without having any need for extra care beyond watering them once every few weeks during dry spells.”


Now that you know some of the best ways to transform your shady garden into a space you can enjoy year-round, it’s time to start planning. The first step is deciding what kind of plants and flowers will work best for your space. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these posts on different types of gardens!

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