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Design Ideas for Shaded Flower Beds in the Front

By Katie Jensen ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cactus garden in dappled shade
shady cactus garden image by Raxxillion from Fotolia.com

The front yard landscaping is the first impression visitors have of your property. A shady front yard has more options than ferns and hostas. Brighten up your landscaping with shaded flower beds. Shade comes in varying degrees, from dense to dappled. Choosing the flowers to match the shade is the first step to success.

Under a Tree

Most front yards have at least one tree. Since grass has a difficult time growing in the shade, swap out the lawn for a shady flower garden. Pick up the colors of the sunny flower beds or container plantings with the colors for the shade flowers, so the landscape has a color-coordinated look. Place plants that like dappled shade such as pansies at the border of the garden and flowers that like deeper shade, such as impatiens toward the trunk of the tree. The area right around the trunk is difficult to plant since it's full of roots. Surround that area with shady plants in containers. If the tree is deciduous, consider planting spring bulbs, like daffodils, under the tree for early spring color.

In a Corner

Northeast corners formed by walls of the house or the walls between the house, fences and garage are in the shade most if not all the time. These little patches of soil are often overlooked but make the perfect place for a pocket garden. Make sure the plants have access to regular watering. The walls prevent rain from reaching the area. Lady's mantel with its acid green leaves and purple flowers will brighten up a dark corner. Plant a specimen plant such as an azalea in the center of the corner and lower plants to each side. Border the area with helleborus.

Raised Entryway Beds

Entryways are sheltered with an overhang, porch roof or extension of the house roof to keep visitors dry and out of the weather. While the entrance may get direct sun, it most likely will be the early morning or late afternoon depending on the home's orientation. Most of the day the entryway is in the shade. Create a flower garden with raised beds on either side or one side of the entryway. Scented flowers are ideal because the visitors are close enough to appreciate their fragrance. Nicotania has a lovely floral scent from tubular-shaped flowers that flair open at the end. Lily of the valley has small bell-shaped flowers hanging down from stems from 12 inches high. When the plant isn't blooming, it still has its attractive sword-shaped leaves.


About the Author


Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.