|This hosta gets just the right amount of sun and shade.|
As the earth rotates on its axis, the shadows lengthen and shorten with the seasons. If you plan your garden in winter, the shadows (or the sun) that you plan around may not be there when you begin to plant! Depending upon your landscape design, these little pockets of sun and shadow can make planting difficult. The shadows are moving now - have you been noticing them?
Shadows made from your home can also work to your advantage. I have a gardenia and a rose planted next to each other, thanks to the shade from my home that gives the gardenia shade all day except for early in the morning. The rose, although it is next to the gardenia, is planted at a different angle, and it gets shade only in the late afternoon. I can not tell you how tickled I am to have a rose and a gardenia blooming next to each other!
|The rose in front and the gardenia in back will soon be blooming together.|
In another area of my garden, I have a rose planted next to a hydrangea. The rose receives morning sun, but is shaded in late afternoon by a tall tree some feet away from it. Here in the south, hydrangeas need protection from the sun. So, the hydrangea is actually shaded by the rose in the morning, and by the tree in the afternoon. Planting shade loving plants and sun loving plants together have become like a little game to me.
And if you have a difficult area to work around, try to be creative. My hardest area to plant was an area that received full shade until late afternoon. Too much shade for most sun loving plants, yet the setting sun would burn any shade loving plant to a crisp! My solution? I planted a tree in front of that spot, and the sun's blazing rays are blocked. No more crispy plants!
|A tree planted in front of this fence protects|
the plants in back of it from the harsh afternoon sun.
Gardens are greatly affected by shadows. Look for them. Maybe you will be able make a game of the sun and shadows in your own garden.