Shade Garden Ideas

Perennial Hostas
Image by Katie McMurray from Pixabay
Perennial Hostas Shade Plants Leaves Blue Hostas

We will look at some shade garden ideas that may be useful to you. Shade gardening is a type of gardening many new gardeners don’t think of because most seem to think that in order to have a beautiful blooming garden, you need to put plants in areas that get some sunlight. In fact, though, there are some shade-loving plants that are quite beautiful, and most of them create blooms of some kind or other as well. Many shade-loving plants also tend to have beautiful colors and textures on their leaves and stalks as well, which helps bring beauty and interest to a previously drab, dark, or boring area of your yard.

Variations of Sun or Shade

Shade gardening is not difficult at all, but it can seem a little tricky at first. And this is because there are varying levels of shade at any given time of the day. Some areas of your yard, for instance, may have filtered sunlight throughout most of the day instead of full shade. Other areas may seem to never see the sun at all, and still, others may have deep shade for most of the day, with bright direct sunlight for a small part of the day too. And these variations in the amount of sun or shade a given part of your yard has will determine the success or failure of your shade garden.

Filtered Sunlight

There are some shade loving plants which cannot tolerate any direct sun for instance, but they’ll do just fine with a bit of filtered sunlight each day. Other shade-loving plants though, prefer to grow in full, deep, dark shade all the time.

Best of All — Hostas

The best plants to put into a shady area of your yard and garden though, is called Hostas. These plants come in a wide variety of textures, colors, and sizes. Most of them create beautiful blooms too, but possibly one of the most interesting things about them is how they create such a wonderful display of color even when they don’t have any flowers in bloom.

Hostas are perennial plants, which means they live for many years. In fact, these plants actually get more beautiful as they age too because they tend to create gorgeous clumps of color that keep expanding and growing each year. Many types of hostas also show even more color as they get older too.

Hostas Prefer a Small Amount of Morning Sun

Hosta plants range from very small to very large, and though most will do just fine in a full, deep, dark shade, they tend to thrive best when they have at least a little morning sun, or some filtered sunlight throughout the day. Hostas will also grow quite well in containers too, so feel free to plant some for sprucing up the inside of your home, or the patio and porch areas too. We have looked at some shade garden ideas that may be useful to you, here a few more to consider.

Q. Which plants like shade?


Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley

Related How To article: 3 Methods to Choose Vegetables for a Shade Garden

Rock Gardens Landscaping Ideas

Please watch this 3:01 minute video for some great ideas.

Rock gardening is an easy way to make your lawn and garden beautiful, yet keep it very low maintenance. Rock gardens are particularly useful for areas of your yard which tend to be quite dry, but they’re also quite beautiful in water run-off areas too, because you can design them to look like miniature river beds.

Creating a rock garden isn’t too difficult, but there is some planning involved. The first step to planning your rock garden is to select the area in which you plan to place it. You’ll also want to decide on the types of plants you’ll have in your rock garden, and what kind of rocks you’d like to have as well.

Small Pebbles and Stones

In most cases, little river rocks and pebbles are excellent to use for a general rock garden bed. You may want to select your rocks and pebbles based on color or uniformity of size and shape, or you might want to simply go out and collect a variety of interesting rocks to put into the garden instead.

The most attractive rock gardens usually have a base rock bed of small pebbles and stones though, and a variety of plants cropping up between them. Then larger, more interesting elements are placed into the rock garden as focal points, shade areas, and to simply make the rock garden more attractive.

Larger Rocks or Small Boulders

Some rock gardens, for instance, have a few larger rocks or even small boulders placed in strategic areas to create both interest and variety in the garden. Placing small boulders in your rock garden also makes it easy to add a small fountain or trickling stream too, plus you’ll be able to plant moss and other interesting plants on the boulders themselves close to the water.

Once you’ve chosen the location for your rock garden though, you’ll need to fully clear the area as best as you can. Remove all weeds and as much of the roots from previous weeds and plants as you can, then remove any other unwanted debris. You’ll be left with a fairly mundane dirt lot, but this is the blank canvas you’ll be able to create your beautiful rock garden in.

Give Them Space

After the garden area has been cleared, you’ll need to place your plants into this area. Unlike other gardens though, a rock garden tends to have small plants that sprout up here and there. So you don’t want to place too many plants, and you don’t want them to be too close together either. Just scatter a few in various areas of the new garden plot.

After you have your plants in the ground if you plan to place larger boulders in the rock garden, put those in their chosen locations first. Then start spreading your base rock or pebbles. Make the rock layer as thick as you’d like, and be sure to get the rocks in close to the base of your new plants and boulders too. Rock garden plants usually like to climb over, around, and through the rock bed that you create, so don’t be afraid of putting the rocks too close.

Now you simply need to place any finishing touches or focal points into your rock garden. You can place water elements, interesting pieces of wood or even old wagon wheels if you’d like.

Related How To article: 3 Parts to Design a Rock Garden

Ideas For Garden Containers

Container Gardens
a container garden
Not everyone has a lawn or even a backyard. Or perhaps they want to try their hand at a smaller organic garden. But that doesn’t mean that they’re out of luck. There’s a simple solution that provides the same benefits as raised beds: a container garden.

Decks or patios can be filled with a variety of pots, tubs, and window boxes in which to grow everything from strawberries to tomatoes. In fact, the only limit to the types of containers you can use is your imagination!

Another big advantage of container gardens is that they are portable, you can move them in and out of the sun as needed, and you can even take them with you if you move.

Types of Containers:

Clay and Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta pots
Terra Cotta pots Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay
These pots are attractive but tend to dry out quickly, so they need more regular watering. If your heart is set on this type of pot, you can line the inside with thin plastic to reduce the loss of moisture. Make sure to place the pots on feet which can be fashioned out of bricks or tiles, to maintain good drainage. Remember that clay can crack during cold weather so choose pots that are frost-proof.
Plastic Pots
plastic pots
Plastic Pots
The advantage to using plastic is that it is lightweight, they retain moisture better than clay and don’t crack in cold weather. There are even plastic pots that look like terra cotta.
Metal Pots
Image by Innviertlerin from Pixabay
If you’re looking for a contemporary look, then metal pots offer a variety of modern styles. They are frost-proof and can be light-weight if that’s one of your requirements. However, they do tend to conduct heat and cold quickly, so they’re not the best choice for areas in areas with extreme cold.
Wooden Planters
Wooden Planters
Wooden Planters
Wood rots so they have a limited lifespan although you can slow down the process by lining the inside with plastic sheeting or landscape fabric. Planters made of cedar or redwood will last the longest.
Recycling and Repurposes

Here’s where your imagination comes into play. Everything from an old toilet to old kettles can become part of your container garden.

Important Considerations

There are a few things to consider when you start a container garden:

• Ensure that the container size is appropriate for what you want to grow.

• Good drainage is imperative! A waterlogged container will lead to root rot. You can drill additional holes in the base of your container if necessary.

• Potting soil needs to be moist at all times so don’t rely on rainfall because it may not be heavy enough to reach the roots. This is especially important if you’re using pots that dry out quickly.

• The soil you use should be light and free draining. It can either be a water-retentive soilless mix or you can make your own potting mix by combining loam, peat moss, and vermiculite. We’ll discuss soil preparation in more detail below.

• Your plants are in a relatively small amount of potting mix, so they’ll have limited nutrients. Frequent watering also flushes nutrients out. Using an organic fertilizer with the proper balance will make up for this.

Many people across the globe want to start a garden in order to eat healthier and to save money on their grocery bills, but not everyone has the space available to them. If you’re tight on space but big on ideas, perhaps you should think about planting a container garden.

Herbs Are Easy

Herbs are so easy to grow and require such little maintenance that anyone thinking about starting a container garden should start out with some basil, oregano, etc. It will give you the experience necessary to grow other things in other containers, and you’ll definitely save a lot of money and experience much better flavor in your dishes. 

Vegetables in Containers

When it comes to veggies in containers, the sky is really the limit, but you do want to keep things simple. Think about vegetables that aren’t going to grow to be really tall. You want to avoid tomatoes and onions. You could try some root vegetables, like carrots, turnips, fennel, and other types of produce. Also, think about something that grows one plant per one seed, not something that gives you a bushel (like potatoes, peas, green beans, etc).

As touched on above, you want to avoid anything that can grow to be really tall or that grows in a bushel. You may also want to avoid anything that’s going to grow to be too large! For instance, cucumbers might seem like a good idea if you’re going to pick them when they’re small, but they can sprout out easily and overtake the container unless you’re constantly paying attention. 

Size of the Container

The size of the container you use all depends on the plants you’re growing. If you’re only growing herbs, then a small-sized flower pot will definitely do the trick. For root veggies, you want to go with something a little deeper, giving you about 12 inches of soil. And if you really wanted to do some tomatoes or something like that, go with a wider container. A 5-gallon bucket would definitely work for larger items.

Sunlight and Water

Plants need as much light as possible. Sunlight is their food, so think about putting your containers in a location where they get sun from mid-morning all the way up until the evening. If your containers are small enough, you can even transport them to follow the sun. In terms of water needs, you should water your plants once every two days. Wait until the sun is about to go down.

Harmful Insects

Pests love plants for some reason, and it doesn’t matter where your plants are located, pests are going to find them. Pests will not only plague your container plants, but you may actually have to deal with more of them. The reason here is that your containers provide less produce to pick at than a full-sized garden, so the pests will be drawn to it, like the bugs to your back porch light. So remember that you have to keep the pests away.


You can definitely grow fruits in containers, depending on which types of fruits you want to grow. Buckets are great for cantaloupes and honeydew melons. Little baskets are perfect for strawberries and other types of berries (even tomatoes if your containers are outside). You can find a wide range of fruits to grow.

Be Responsible

Although it takes a lot of the work away in terms of digging and weeding, planting a garden in containers is still a big responsibility. So it’s important that you take it seriously. Use these tips to help guide you through the process.

Related How To article: 3 Ways to Clean Plant Containers

Your Garden Makes Eating Healthy Easy

Grow an organic garden
Grow an organic garden
Vegetable garden plan, plan, and plan

Reading the food labels in a grocery store can make you think twice about eating what is in the package. Chemicals and preservatives can be harmful to your body, and you should avoid them as much as possible. When you have your own organic garden, eating a healthy diet becomes much easier. Use the simple ideas in this article to grow your own healthy foods.

Prepare Your Soil

active compost steaming and decomposting
Shows an active compost steaming and decomposting
Homemade compost is one of the best soil additives.

Your garden will grow as well as you have prepared the soil for it. Make sure the soil is friable and free of rocks and gravel, and work in some organic compost before you plant your vegetables. Do not locate your garden in an area that gets sun all day, but also avoid areas that are shaded for more than one or two hours during the day.

Space and Coolness

Some plants, such as lettuce and sweet peas, prefer areas that are cooler, so if one area of your garden is shaded more than the rest, use that space for your “cool crop” plants. Some vegetables take a lot of room, so make sure you allow space for your squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes to spread out. Tomato cages can contain your tomatoes somewhat, but they still take a considerable amount of room.

Container Gardening

If your garden space is limited, you may want to use some containers and raised beds to maximize your growing area. Containers will allow you to grow some plants on your patio or porch, while raised beds help with weed control. An added benefit to raised beds and containers is that the plants are easier to tend to when you do not need to bend over to reach the ground.

Proper Watering

Mulch will prevent evaporation of water

garden mulch path
garden mulch path makes it easy to visit your garden
Your garden will need regular watering, especially during extended periods of heat and drought. You can prevent the soil from losing moisture by mulching between the rows of vegetables. A very efficient method of watering your garden is with a soaker hose. The moisture goes directly to the roots of the plants with this method, and the gradual release of water is better than sprinkling the plants once a day. Plants do love to be misted, so you may want to mist them either early in the morning or late in the evening. You should never spray cold water onto plants when the sun is shining hot on them.

Your Time and Results

A garden not only provides healthy produce for you and your family but tending it is also a great way to relieve the stress that affects most people. There is great satisfaction in the successful harvest of fruits and vegetables you have grown in your garden. An hour or two spent caring for your garden at the end of a busy day helps to slow the pace and provide the relaxation you need.


a happy organic farmer
smiles from a happy organic gardener
Happy farmer hauling her healthy food

Growing your own produce in a garden you planned, planted and cared for can be a great source of satisfaction. The added benefit of knowing the food it provides is safe and healthy makes growing a garden a worthwhile effort. Use the information in this article to make growing your garden an enjoyable endeavor.

Related How To article: How to Eat Healthy

Tips For New Gardeners

Gardner has taken tips and benefitted.

It doesn’t matter how advanced of a gardener you are, there is always something to learn. If you want advice on how to become a productive gardner then you are in the right place. This article can help you figure out how to create and establish a home garden that will thrive during every season throughout the year. So get your thinking cap on and start writing down some of these ideas so that you can have a garden that will get people to appreciate all of your gardening efforts.

Pick Plants in Season

Broccoli planted in the fall only.

Pick out plants for every type of season. You want to get plants that bloom during the hotter months out of the year, and you want to get plants that also bloom during the colder months of the year. When you do this and plant them all over your garden then you make it easy for you to have plants that will be looking their best all year long. Some people don’t realize this, and they simply buy a bunch of plants that look nice but don’t blossom all throughout the year.

Plants That Grow in Your Region

Get plants that are native to your atmosphere. Do a little research and see what type of plants are native to your surroundings. If you get plants that thrive in tropical climates, and you’re nowhere near the tropics, then you aren’t going to want to get these type of plants. You have to think a little bit when you choose your plants, because if you don’t then you might be left with plants that won’t grow to their true potential.

Stay Consistant

Set up a routine where you manage your garden every day. You don’t want to fall out of your routine of taking care of the plants in your garden and have them slowly wither away. It’s always a good idea to schedule time out of your day to water and maintain your plants. If you don’t then it might be easier for you to forget about your plants and to neglect to water them. This could seriously damage your plants for the rest of their life, and they might never grow back the same.

Don’t Crowd Plants

Crowded garden will suffer and possibly die out.

Manage the space for your garden wisely. The last thing you need is to have too many plants in one area and to have them hurt each other’s growth patterns. You want to have a reasonable amount of plants around your garden, but you don’t want to have too many. Pick out your favorite plants and see if that is enough for your garden to look nice.

By following these simple gardening ideas you can do a lot for your garden. The ideas presented here were some helpful ones to ensure the productivity of your garden. Try your best to do everything you can to manage your home garden properly and see what happens as a result in a couple of months. There is a lot that can be done to any garden in a short amount of time, so try your best to manage your garden to the best of your ability.

Herb Container Gardening Ideas

herbs of thyme and basil
herbs of thyme and basil growing in their own container.

The vast majority of gardens out there contain some types of herbs in them. Now, while most of the herbs can be found outside somewhere, there are millions of people who throw their herbs into containers and grow them on window sills and on their back patios. If you want to know exactly how to plant and grow a great herb garden, keep reading the tips below for some solid info on the subject.

Container Drainage

The one thing you want to focus on when looking for a planter is drainage. Just because the soil looks dry on the surface doesn’t mean that it’s dry underneath. Unless your container has proper drainage, your roots are going to become overly saturated and your plants are going to die. Most containers will have good drainage, but you should still look around and ask about which planters do the best job at draining.

Potting Soil

You can always grab some dirt from the backyard and hope for the best, but if you really want to get the most out of your herb garden, then you should definitely consider picking up a bag of high-quality potting soil. The good thing about planting inside of a container is that you won’t need a lot of soil. You can buy one medium-sized bag and probably get at least a dozen planters worth of soil out of it. One word to always remember: Quality!

When to Water

As a general rule of thumb, you should be watering your plants at least once per day. But depending on the size of the container and the particular types of plants you have, you may find that they actually need more water in order to thrive. Do a little bit of research on the types of herbs you’re trying to grow. You will quickly figure out which herbs need more water than others. Also, make sure to water those larger containers more.

Light Requirements

It’s important that the light requirements of the herbs are similar if you want to have them in similar spots. If they’re not similar, then you’re going to be playing musical chairs most of the time with your planters. This can become quite tedious and you may end up forgetting the cycle. But if you’re leaving similar plants clumped together, you can just leave them in the same spot with no worries.

Inside or Outside?

If you have enough room outside to place the planters, then your plants will definitely thank you for the natural elements and the natural, unimpeded sunlight. However, some plants are going to do better inside of the home depending on the climate. Again, this is something you’ll need to check out on your own and per the particular plant you’re trying to grow. Every plant has slightly different needs.


The best thing about planting a herb garden in containers is that it’s a very low-cost, low-maintenance way to have fresh, tasty herbs around the year. With just a little bit of work and a small investment, you can have a spectacular herb garden indoors or outdoors.

A starter kit for anyone


Related How To article: 7 Steps to Grow a Container Herb Garden

Colored Vegetables List

Gardening will take on an entirely new meaning when you plant these colorful vegetables in it and next I have a colored vegetables list. Friends and neighbors will be amazed and children will love showing off their great garden rewards.

Rainbow Carrots

Rainbow Carrots will surprise your friends

Rainbow Carrots
rainbow carrots

Grow red, yellow, orange and purple carrots with kaleidoscope blends. These carrots retain the same delicious sweet flavor you’re used to but with a rainbow twist. Children will love showing these off to family and friends.


Purple Green Beans

Purple Green Beans Purple Green Beans

Purple green beans are as delicious and nutritious as the green variety. Pick them when they’re full and purple. These green beans will turn more of a green as you cook them up. Delicious in any dish or alone steamed with butter.


Italian Rose Heirloom Beans

Italian Rose Heirloom BeansItalian Rose Heirloom Beans

These are as delicious and nutritious as their plain counterparts. Your beans will vary from red with white speckles to white with red speckles. Cook them up like you would regular beans or allow them to dry, shell and use as hard beans.

Cheddar Cauliflower

Cheddar cauliflower isn’t cheddar flavoredCheddar cauliflower

Want to entice your kids to eat some cauliflower? Try this unique variety. No, it isn’t cheddar flavored, but the color looks like it is. Perhaps your kids will be convinced it’s better if it’s yellow.


Purple Potatoes

purple potatoespurple potatoes

We’ve all seen yukon gold, red russets and other colors of potatoes, but you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a purple potato. Friends and family alike will all enjoy this delicious variety. Try it for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July for a red, white and blue salad adventure to celebrate.

Egyptian Walking Onions

Egyptian Walking Onion photo by Tony Alter from Newport News, USAEgyptian Walking Onion

Want a mild flavored unique onion? This variety may fit the bill. These onions will grow two purple colored globes. Smaller than the white or yellow varieties these onions reseed themselves and come back year after year. Plant in an area where they can reproduce or you’ll have your entire garden taken over. Delicious in salads, stir fries and more.

Yellow Zucchini

Yellow Zucchini is a sweeter varietyYellow Zucchini

Tired of the old-fashioned green zucchini that seems to multiply like rabbits? Try this sweeter variety. Yes, they still multiply but their yellow color sets them apart from typical zucchini. Delicious as zucchini boats, in stir fries and fresh in salads.


Golden Tomatoes, talk about a tossed saladGolden Tomatoes

Try growing some golden tomatoes for a change of pace. Pear, cherry and regular sized varieties are all readily available. Purple varieties are also available for a unique taste treat.



Tomatillo Related to gooseberriesTomatillo

This unique fruit (often called a vegetable) looks like a tomato with a green papery jacket on. Related to gooseberries and ground cherries, this unique fruit is often chopped and put on tacos and pizza for a unique taste treat. A bit on the tart side you might not quite expect the bite.

Lemon Cucumber

Lemon cucumber photo by Emoke DenesLemon cucumber

Lemon cucumbers have a subtle taste of lemon in a cucumber. Yellow in color they look like their green counterparts only rounder. Delicious sliced in a salad or eaten straight.

Now that you know some unique colored vegetables to plant you’ll want to create your own multi colored vegetable garden.