shady corner garden

12 Spectacular Shady Corner Garden Ideas

All corners of a garden have shady patches. During all seasons of the year, there are bound to be areas that receive more sunlight than others, or perhaps they do not get as much attention as others. This article will go through 12 shady corner garden ideas that you can use to turn the shady areas of your garden into an essential focal point to improve your garden with.

We will explore the following shady corner garden ideas:

1. Plant Shade-Loving Beauties

ferns shady corner garden idea

First on our list of shady corner garden ideas is regarding plants. Not all plants need a tremendous amount of sunshine. Ferns, for example, thrive in shady environments. Adding ferns into a shady corner of your garden will bring more vibrant colours to it, as well as a touch of prehistoric history with their fronds and dark-coloured trunks.

Alternatively, you could use silver foliage plants to lighten up the shady corners of your garden, which will work effectively in the winter too. Other plants that love the shade that we recommend are:

  • Stinking Iris (Iris foetidissima)
  • Wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae)
  • Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)
  • Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis)
  • Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

2. Grow Colourful Flowers

colourful shady garden plants

As well as plants, there are plenty of colourful flowers that can bring out the light more in the shady corners of your garden. Begonias, salvias, shrubs, and coleus are known to have distinct features that will bring more life to your garden and may get the bees and other insects to tag along too. From perennials to annual growing flowers, there is plenty to choose from for shade-tolerant flowers that are great for shady corner garden ideas.

3. Work With the Sun

garden furniture for shady areas

Another recommendation from our shady corner garden ideas is about positioning your furniture. Position your furniture in the most likely spots where the sun will hit your garden throughout the day. Add accessories to your garden furniture that will complement bright colours in your garden, such as yellow, blue, and green.

4. Add A Lick of Paint

colourful garden fence panels

Adding a touch of paint for your shady corner garden ideas will not hurt. However, one place that will surely change how your garden appears is the fence. Painting a fence can make your garden appear larger than it actually is, with the right colours. Conversely, using bright colours to paint your garden will make it seem less shady and, therefore, will leave you with less space to fill.

5. Use The Shade to Your Advantage

shady garden corner furniture

Of course, you could work your shady corner garden areas instead and use the shade to your advantage. You can use minimalist, modern garden furniture to give it a tranquil mood. Dark green garden furniture will easily complement your garden, no matter whether it is shady or not. Keep your garden methods simplistic, and it will not feel like nature is at war with itself among your other shady corner garden ideas.

6. Start A Vertical Garden

vertical shady corner garden plants

Size does not matter, especially if you have a small garden. This will allow you to play with your vertical garden space instead. Designing your vertical garden space will always add something new and refreshing, especially for your shady corner garden areas. Using lights, hanging baskets, climbing plants, bird feeders, and much more, will easily make more effective use of your vertical garden space and will give you more to work with from the air.

7. Light It Up…Literally!

lightbulbs hanging in shady corner garden

Using effective lighting for your shady corner garden ideas will undoubtedly bring them to life more. Choose from small, medium, and large lighting techniques to decorate your shady corners with, and your garden will be immensely illuminated throughout the year. Alternatively, if you are not looking to use lights in your garden, certain plants are just as efficient for lighting up your garden more and projecting the sunlight across the space, such as ferns, hellebores, and hakonechloa.

8. Make Shady Corners Usable

women talking at bbq in shady corner garden

Turn your shady garden corners into a practical space. From seating, decking, storage units, and much more, there is always something to add to your shady corners. Even BBQs in the summer can be used efficiently and effectively in these corners to really bring them to life and make them a vibrant, colourful space where you and your friends can have fun in.

9. Give it to The Kids

children playing on swing in shady corner garden

You could also turn your shady corner garden into an environment in which your kids can play in. Add in slides, swings, artificial grass, a sandpit, water features, and anything else that your children enjoy to make the most of this space. It will never be a shady corner again when you see how happy it will make your children.

10. Choose The Right Materials

Using the right materials for your shady corner garden ideas is important towards how well you can use your garden furniture. They can become susceptible to dampness or even drying out, especially if placed under a tree. Therefore, you should maintain the quality of your garden furniture as well as the colour and materials that they are made from to make them last longer throughout the year. We highly recommend this method for all modern garden décor ideas too. Another popular and innovative way to design a shady garden would be to start landscaping with gravel. The variety of shapes, colours and sizes gravel is available in, will allow you to create a wide range of designs in your garden.

11. Use A Mirror

shady corner garden mirror in trees

Surprisingly, adding mirrors and other reflective equipment to your shady corner garden areas will bring more life and colour to them too. Mirrors will help project the sky colour to illuminate your shady corners, and you can choose any sized mirrors to use their reflective abilities to your advantage creatively. Adding mirrors will definitely transform how you perceive your other shady corner garden ideas too.

12. Embrace The Shade

dark shady corner garden with lights and furniture

Lastly, sometimes you cannot always fight nature, and instead, you should embrace the shade within your shady corner garden areas. In fact, you could go even darker in your shady garden and paint the fences a darker colour, and add in similar coloured decking to evoke darker colours.

Find out how you can change your long narrow garden space.

Plenty of Shady Corner Garden Ideas to Go Around

With so many shady corner garden ideas to choose from, you can easily make subtle and cheap changes to your shady corner garden areas to make them more of an underrated focal point for the rest of your garden. The next time friends or family come around to visit, they will be amazed at how they managed to miss the spotlight that you turned your shady corner garden area into.


What are some design ideas for a shady garden corner?

Consider planting shade-loving plants such as hostas, ferns, and astilbes. Incorporate garden structures such as trellises or arches, and add a seating area or water feature to create a peaceful retreat.

Can I plant vegetables in a shady garden corner?

Most vegetables require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, so a shady garden corner may not be the best location for growing vegetables. However, some vegetables such as leafy greens, radishes, and herbs can tolerate partial shade and may do well in a shady spot.

How do I add colour to a shady garden corner?

Choose plants with colourful foliage such as heucheras or coleus, or add flowering plants such as bleeding hearts or impatiens. You can also incorporate colourful garden accents such as decorative pots or garden art.

How can I create visual interest in a shady garden corner?

Vary the height and texture of your plants to create depth and interest. Use plants with different leaf shapes and sizes, and add layers of ground cover and taller plants to create a layered effect. Incorporate garden structures such as arches or trellises to add height and visual interest.

What are some low maintenance plants for a shady garden corner?

Choose plants that are well-suited for the specific conditions of your shady garden corner, such as ferns, hostas, or coral bells. These plants require little maintenance beyond occasional watering and fertilization.


Gardening Know How. (2021). Shade Tolerant Flowers: Flowers To Grow In Shade. Retrieved from: [accessed 10/03/23]

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