While many plants thrive in full sun, there's an equal list that do best in shady areas. And when it comes time to enjoy your outdoor space, there's a good chance you'd like a little shade, too. Yet, if your garden has left you shy of shade in its current state, it can be altered with a little planning and patience.
Plant trees. Consider varieties like the maple, oak, hickory and elm, which when mature, will create towering, shady areas in a garden. Plant the American Elm, long a top-choice among shady trees, now in a disease-free variety. Include the Sourwood in your landscape for great summer shade and white fuzzy flowers and great color in the fall, and a generally low-maintenance tree.
Add a pergola, arbor or loggia to an area that is inadequate to support a large tree. Extend your outdoor living space and gain some shade at the same time by having a pergola built onto your home. Incorporate these types of structures for immediate impact.
Cast some shade with climbing vines and shrubs. Incorporate climbing hydrangea, Boston or English ivy or even Virginia creeper for shade and interest. Consider planting small-to-medium size shrubs like variegated dogwood or holly. Create an arching canopy by planting pagoda dogwood, witch hazel or Japanese maple.