Now that summer has come and the weather is warm, everyone is spending their time outside. But you know that July sun can get hot! We could all use a break from the heat once in a while. If your lawn doesn’t have any large trees you might be experiencing an extreme lack of shade. Perhaps it’s time to have one of these quick-growing shade trees transplanted into your yard:

Tree Types

tulip tree

Tulips Trees

Do you have a big yard with a lot of space? A massive Tulip Tree can cast shade across a large area, and in the spring it will bloom with beautiful tulip-shaped flowers.

river birch

River Birch

A hearty River Birch will thrive just about anywhere. A fast grower, it’ll be able to provide plenty of shade in no time. Not to mention the soft yellow autumn foliage and unique bark patterns make it an attractive addition to the landscape.

autumn blaze maple

Autumn Blaze Maple

If you really want a distinct tree for your yard, the Autumn Blaze Maple is the way to go. Its fall foliage is a vibrant swath of crimson, making it a coveted specimen.

Gardening in the Shade

You gardeners out there may be wondering if all this new shade will limit your gardening space. But fear not, there are actually several varieties of plants that’ll grow just fine in partially shaded areas. As long as these plants have access to at least 3-6 hours of sunlight a day, they’ll be happy campers.

spider flower

Cleome (Hassleriana) a.k.a. Spider Flower

This is a hardy annual that blooms in bunches of soft violet flowers. It will grow to a be a couple feet tall and be just fine in partial shade with only minimal water.

 

impatiens

Balsam (Impatiens Balsamina)

The annual variety is very easy to maintain in partial shade and will grow to be over a foot tall even with minimal water. Flowers range from white to a deep red.

 

monkshood

Monkshood (Aconitum Fischeri)

A beautiful yet mildly poisonous flower. It grows well in partial shade and features hood-shaped purple flowers that may last up to two months.

 

Some General Tips for Shade Gardening

  • Observe the movement of sunlight across your yard throughout the day to get a good idea of which spots get what amount of light, and plant accordingly.
  • Remember that you’re trying to mimic the nutrient-rich soil and organic mulch of a forest floor.
  • Don’t try to create a shade garden on top of tree roots, it will only create problems for both the tree and the plants.
  • Be on the lookout for snails and slugs, you’ll need to actively trap and remove them from heavily-shaded areas.
  • Ensure good air flow throughout your shade garden to prevent fungal diseases.

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