Real new gardener here: I live in zone 6 and have a good amount of unused space that is hollering "plant something here!" :) Mainly a shaded area but does get sun part of the day...I plan on cleaning out the dirt and adding some good soil/peat moss...etc to get it ready...now just looking for some ideas. I have a bunch of faves but not sure if any of these are options: hydrangeas, sunflowers, lazy susan's, gerber daisys...not even sure if these are perennials/annuals and if I start with seeds..all advice welcome!
Is the shade in the morning or afternoon? If it's afternoon shade, consider the area more shady and look for plants in the "shade" section of the garden center. Hydrangeas are shrubs that would probably be happy there, just make sure you plant with their eventual mature size in mind. Sunflowers are annuals you would grow from seed next spring. Gerber daisies are perennials but I'm not sure are hardy (able to survive winter) where you are, they are usually bought in pots already growing. A walk around your neighborhood might be a good starting exercise also (both literally and figuratively! LOL!)
Candt the best thing to do to begin with is measure how much sun your are getting in that area, then add 1 more hour to compensate for loosing daylight at approx 1-2 mins per day. Height of the season is Summer soltice in june with the longest day then, now we are in the process of loosing daylight.
You don't necessarily have to clean out the soil but rather ammend it with peatmoss, Home Depot has the best prices and best peat.
How big is the area you would like to plant? Do a little planning now to save yourself time and trouble later.Get a few details and get back to us for more in the way of ideas...Kathy
The best addition to a new garden bed or area is IF you can get your hands on some Horse manure that has been well rotted, (well rotted means there is no smell and looks like crumbling garden soil) this will add lots of nutrients and help keep the roots of plants aired, cool and hold onto any moisture a little longer.
If you could buy one of those very cheep soil tester kits that cost maybe $5 and test the soil after you have got it ready, you will have a better idea of which type of soil you have and choose plants accordingly, if you have a more acidic soil then the Hydrangea's, Camellia, Azalea's etc will do well in part shade and require, very little care and attention, some of these have a beautiful perfume if you choose the right type. Some lily bulbs like an acidic soil and some sun too.
The Hosta's Some Pelargonium's, Astilbe, Digitalis, Viola, Hebe etc all enjoy shade or part shade.
You can walk around the garden center and pick out pots, place them together and stand back to see how they look together, look at textures as well as different colours of foliage as there are as many shades of green, blue, copper, cream etc than there are in a colour book in a haberdashery.
I would go to the book store or local library also to look through books on deds / borders as they will show you pictures of the plants and name then, this should help you get a grip on the size a plant can reach after about 5-10 year, while others just need plenty room to spread out to their normal hight / width .
before they even flower or get their proper shape,
Gardening should be fun and we all make mistakes when we first start out, I love the autumn / winter months when we can clean up the old foliage throw a winter mulch 3-4 inch deep on the beds to protect the roots from frost and also gives gardeners time to send off for plant catalogues, seed / bulb nurseries plant lists and these give you a wealth of information re how deep to plant, what to give as feed and type of soil, there's nothing nicer in cold dark winter evenings than sitting with a coffee and wrapped in a throw and giving your mind a treat with all thos free catalogues and plant lists / growers.
Good luck and happy gardening.
Here's my 2 cents. I have a shady area under trees in my yard and it is really important to put in "shade" plants. Plants like sunflowers need full sun. I like the hydrangea idea, they like shade and there are a few annuals like old fashioned forget-me-nots that like shade.
Ferns are nice and even foxglove will bloom although they will not germinate seed in the shade. I grow rose campion in the shade and it also blooms but does not seed in shade.
Candy, another great tip for pictures is your local library. If you're truely interested...E-Bay sells gardening books (new and used). This spring I picked up many, many great books for as low as .99-4.00. There are many new ones in the 99 cent range...oh add shipping, usually about $3 ish. Pretty good...especially when you consider they were orrigionally selling for $24.95-49.95.
Another great resource is your: county (government pages in your phone book) extention office. Ask for someone in Horticulture. They can answer questions, send out thousands of articles about anything and everything to do with growing...almost anything. They are a government adgency devoted to helping any homeowner, garder, ranchers and farmers (wanna learn about chickens, lol, they have an ACTION REPORT, for that too). They are there as a public service to all, and don't get used as much as they should. Some of the people that work there are a wealth of info. for your local climate or region.
And of course, people here can help. Most have gardened for years, and we as a group have vast and varring experiences. Just realize most of us have differences as to climate, loves and hates, lol...You have to first decide for yourself are you just landscaping or wanting to become a life long gardener. Because the want to start a garden can become a lifelong endevor that is more satisfing than one can imagine. And also realize all of us have had failures...don't dispare, there's always next year...lol. I started out more than 20 years ago landscaping my new yard cuz it was cheaper to do it myself and many homes and years later I have my dream location to create my garden, (did you notice that I didn't say landscape my yard). I started out with just an average city lot 50X100ish and now...I have 5 acres here to lanscape to my hearts content...Welcome...Kathy.
last pix is 1/2 of my new border, others were of my garden and also 1 of the gardens I take care of for my daughter...