Sun or shade? Choose plants that can tolerate both

Community Jul 17, 2017 by Sherry Hayes Stoney Creek News

Sun and shade are two extremes that have many gardeners scratching their heads in frustration, especially when both conditions exist on one small lot. What is one to do? The answer is simple: choose plants that tolerate both sun and shade. And use a well-laid out design plan.

The age of a property determines the extent of sun or shade that envelopes the area. Older homes — generally 30 years and beyond — may contain mature city trees, usually maple, oak and locust. Often described as the "dreaded street tree," homeowners have a love or hate relationship with the towering monster living in the front yard. With these moisture-greedy trees and a canopy of shade — usually quite dense — homeowners scramble to deal with lacklustre gardens and lawns.

Conversely, newer subdivisions are havens for sterile, sun-baked yards that scream for relief. Without ample moisture, lawns appear parched and dry. Any homeowner attempting to install a plant that is better suited for a shady area is destined to watch their investment crash and burn in the hot sun.

But, don’t despair! Whether your property is subjected to dense shade or bright sunlight there is a solution for both conditions. A stroll around your property should help to determine the type of conditions that prevail in your front, back and side yards. You may find that trees are not the only culprit. Often your own home or neighbouring homes create extensive patches of shade at various times of the day.

Options vary and, while each homeowner has his or her own personal taste, there are many plants and trees that will suit individual style. It is important to note that plants and trees change over time and planning should encompass those long-term changes. For example, your new home may be stark at the moment. However if a young maple or locust has been planted out front, the yard will take on completely different conditions down the road as the tree or trees mature.

There are plenty of plants to choose from in the market today. The following plants could work for current sunny and future shady garden beds:

Broadleaf evergreens: Boxwood; euonymus; mountain Laurel; firethorn and winter heath.

Evergreens: Hemlock and yew generally tolerate sun/shade combinations.

Deciduous Shrubs: (tolerate sun to partial shade) Dogwood; summersweet; deutzia and winterberry. Additionally for mixed sun and shade consider certain hydrangea; kerria; snowberry and viburnum.

Perennials: Goatsbeard; astilbe; hosta and coral bells work in part sun/shade conditions.

Ground covers: Pacysandra, vinca, ajuga and hardy ivy.

(Note: All of the above are suggestions only. Plants can react and grow differently in every setting. Also, research all plants to determine requirements and growing habits, including aggressive varieties.)

Keep in mind the current and the projected future conditions when developing a landscape design plan that will be best suited for your property. Planning correctly now along with proper maintenance practices should have you enjoying beautiful gardens for many years to come.

Sherry Hayes is a part-time writer and an award winning professional landscape designer and owner of Landscaping With Style, a design firm in Stoney Creek. For more landscape planning and consultation information, see landscapingwithstyle.on.ca or call 905-574-7606.

Sun or shade? Choose plants that can tolerate both

Community Jul 17, 2017 by Sherry Hayes Stoney Creek News

Sun and shade are two extremes that have many gardeners scratching their heads in frustration, especially when both conditions exist on one small lot. What is one to do? The answer is simple: choose plants that tolerate both sun and shade. And use a well-laid out design plan.

The age of a property determines the extent of sun or shade that envelopes the area. Older homes — generally 30 years and beyond — may contain mature city trees, usually maple, oak and locust. Often described as the "dreaded street tree," homeowners have a love or hate relationship with the towering monster living in the front yard. With these moisture-greedy trees and a canopy of shade — usually quite dense — homeowners scramble to deal with lacklustre gardens and lawns.

Conversely, newer subdivisions are havens for sterile, sun-baked yards that scream for relief. Without ample moisture, lawns appear parched and dry. Any homeowner attempting to install a plant that is better suited for a shady area is destined to watch their investment crash and burn in the hot sun.

But, don’t despair! Whether your property is subjected to dense shade or bright sunlight there is a solution for both conditions. A stroll around your property should help to determine the type of conditions that prevail in your front, back and side yards. You may find that trees are not the only culprit. Often your own home or neighbouring homes create extensive patches of shade at various times of the day.

Options vary and, while each homeowner has his or her own personal taste, there are many plants and trees that will suit individual style. It is important to note that plants and trees change over time and planning should encompass those long-term changes. For example, your new home may be stark at the moment. However if a young maple or locust has been planted out front, the yard will take on completely different conditions down the road as the tree or trees mature.

There are plenty of plants to choose from in the market today. The following plants could work for current sunny and future shady garden beds:

Broadleaf evergreens: Boxwood; euonymus; mountain Laurel; firethorn and winter heath.

Evergreens: Hemlock and yew generally tolerate sun/shade combinations.

Deciduous Shrubs: (tolerate sun to partial shade) Dogwood; summersweet; deutzia and winterberry. Additionally for mixed sun and shade consider certain hydrangea; kerria; snowberry and viburnum.

Perennials: Goatsbeard; astilbe; hosta and coral bells work in part sun/shade conditions.

Ground covers: Pacysandra, vinca, ajuga and hardy ivy.

(Note: All of the above are suggestions only. Plants can react and grow differently in every setting. Also, research all plants to determine requirements and growing habits, including aggressive varieties.)

Keep in mind the current and the projected future conditions when developing a landscape design plan that will be best suited for your property. Planning correctly now along with proper maintenance practices should have you enjoying beautiful gardens for many years to come.

Sherry Hayes is a part-time writer and an award winning professional landscape designer and owner of Landscaping With Style, a design firm in Stoney Creek. For more landscape planning and consultation information, see landscapingwithstyle.on.ca or call 905-574-7606.

Sun or shade? Choose plants that can tolerate both

Community Jul 17, 2017 by Sherry Hayes Stoney Creek News

Sun and shade are two extremes that have many gardeners scratching their heads in frustration, especially when both conditions exist on one small lot. What is one to do? The answer is simple: choose plants that tolerate both sun and shade. And use a well-laid out design plan.

The age of a property determines the extent of sun or shade that envelopes the area. Older homes — generally 30 years and beyond — may contain mature city trees, usually maple, oak and locust. Often described as the "dreaded street tree," homeowners have a love or hate relationship with the towering monster living in the front yard. With these moisture-greedy trees and a canopy of shade — usually quite dense — homeowners scramble to deal with lacklustre gardens and lawns.

Conversely, newer subdivisions are havens for sterile, sun-baked yards that scream for relief. Without ample moisture, lawns appear parched and dry. Any homeowner attempting to install a plant that is better suited for a shady area is destined to watch their investment crash and burn in the hot sun.

But, don’t despair! Whether your property is subjected to dense shade or bright sunlight there is a solution for both conditions. A stroll around your property should help to determine the type of conditions that prevail in your front, back and side yards. You may find that trees are not the only culprit. Often your own home or neighbouring homes create extensive patches of shade at various times of the day.

Options vary and, while each homeowner has his or her own personal taste, there are many plants and trees that will suit individual style. It is important to note that plants and trees change over time and planning should encompass those long-term changes. For example, your new home may be stark at the moment. However if a young maple or locust has been planted out front, the yard will take on completely different conditions down the road as the tree or trees mature.

There are plenty of plants to choose from in the market today. The following plants could work for current sunny and future shady garden beds:

Broadleaf evergreens: Boxwood; euonymus; mountain Laurel; firethorn and winter heath.

Evergreens: Hemlock and yew generally tolerate sun/shade combinations.

Deciduous Shrubs: (tolerate sun to partial shade) Dogwood; summersweet; deutzia and winterberry. Additionally for mixed sun and shade consider certain hydrangea; kerria; snowberry and viburnum.

Perennials: Goatsbeard; astilbe; hosta and coral bells work in part sun/shade conditions.

Ground covers: Pacysandra, vinca, ajuga and hardy ivy.

(Note: All of the above are suggestions only. Plants can react and grow differently in every setting. Also, research all plants to determine requirements and growing habits, including aggressive varieties.)

Keep in mind the current and the projected future conditions when developing a landscape design plan that will be best suited for your property. Planning correctly now along with proper maintenance practices should have you enjoying beautiful gardens for many years to come.

Sherry Hayes is a part-time writer and an award winning professional landscape designer and owner of Landscaping With Style, a design firm in Stoney Creek. For more landscape planning and consultation information, see landscapingwithstyle.on.ca or call 905-574-7606.