It is critical to assess and understand the light in the landscape, as it is the key to success to plant your plants. Therefore, it is important to learn the way to determine the amount of light in your yard in all season. For example, if you have a sunny spot in the spring, the shade of the tree can cover it in the middle of summer. So, here are the things to know more about how to site your garden and then choose the plants that grow well.
When it is about choosing plants, you cannot ignore the sunlight that your garden receives. In fact, major plants need six hours of sun. Fortunately, there are many plants that can bloom beautifully with the less light. In another word, if you the sunlight in your backyard, you can plan the best plants to plant there.
Study The Sunlight
How to study the sunlight in your backyard? Well, you can take your time for every hour or two in a day to take some notes such as the shadows to fall, pass, or linger. If you spend more time to study the sunlight trails in spring, the bare-branched trees will be helpful to give the illusion of the sunny spots. It is possible if the shade swallows the area once the leaves emerge. Walls and buildings can cast shadows as well so you should consider the structures regarding the sun’s trail.
After that, use sprays paint and marking flags to indicate the light and the shadow in your yard. Another way to do is to create a lightmap on a paper. Even though you will need a few sheets of the tracing paper, it is worth to sketch the copy of the outline in your yard on each of the page. Two hours after the sunrise is the ideal time to observe the light and the shade fall and then mark them on the tracing paper. You should note the time, as well. Always do this process throughout the day and each time you need to use a different sheet of paper. After that, label the sun and the shade pockets as the indication whether they are morning or afternoon. Besides, you should layer the pages together and you will have an accurate picture of light intensity your yard receives every day. You are about creating the composite drawing as the one-page lightmap in your backyard.
Once you understand the characteristic of the sun and the shade in your backyard, you can start choosing the best plants. Planting sun-loving plants in the shade and dappled spot means that the plants would not die, but they will have fewer flowers, less color, shorter lifetime, and gangly stems.
If you plant sun-loving plants in the South, the plants may need shade especially to deal with the hottest part of the day. Meanwhile, the presence of cloud cover will prevent sun-loving plants from flourishing if you live in the Pacific Northwest. The rule is in a cool and wet summer, plants will take partial shade to deal with the sunnier conditions.
It is simple to understand sunlight, whether a plant gets sun or it doesn’t. In fact, the intensity of sunlight can be different if it is all about the time of the day. Morning light is always softer, gentler rays. Nevertheless, afternoon light is the sun blazing.
If you live in the woodland setting, it is good to know that tall trees are able to cast the light shade. You will need astilbe to brighten the shady lawn with more colorful blossom. You can even plant the combination of astilbe that will bloom at the different points in the season to create the amazing flower show. There are some other plants to plant with astilbes such as Hakone grass and goatsbeard.
It is also possible to make shade acts to disappear. For example, if you have a tree with few branches that can cast the dense shade, you can remove the lower limbs to lighten the scenery. This is known as climbing up that will lift a canopy, allow the sunlight to go more to the leafy shade. For summer and fall, sunlight will be beneath the limbed-up trees and lighten the deep shade. It is good if you try for thinning carefully to increase the light to the ground below. If you want to increase the light, you should add vine-covered lattice to replace the solid fences.
The Dry Shade
If you find the dry shade under the trees in your backyard, it is the toughest condition in your garden. Nevertheless, you can still splash beautiful colors into the dark areas by adding perennials. However, you should understand that the perennials will need frequent watering.
Plants for dry shade are below:
Anemone, Barrenwort, Bear’s breeches, Columbine, Coralbells, Lenten rose, Liriope, Mondo grass, Monkshood, Yellow foxglove
Types Of Light
The specific plants are also about the growing requirements. For example, light needs will express the full sun, part sun, part shade, and even full shade. These are the terms related to the sunlight that a plant needs the top performance. If you have no idea about the terms, here is the code.
Full sun – Plants need six hours of the sunlight per day minimum.
Part sun – Plants should get three to six hours of sun per day, in the morning or in the evening, not in the hottest time of the day.
Part shade – Plants need three to six hours of sun per day with the shade during the afternoon when the sun becomes the hottest. The conditions are great for plants beneath a tree with the sun slants in the morning.
Full shade – Plants with the need for direct sunlight for less than three hours per day. Filtered sunlight or the light shade is crucial for the rest of the day. This is the best term to describe plants on the north side of a building or structure. Alternatively for the plants under the spreading tree with the sunlight that penetrates the canopy during the day.