Types of Shade - a Definition
There are varying degrees of shade. There are plants and shrubs, that thrive
in certain types of shade. As a shade gardener, your mission is to select
the right plants, for the shade level in your lawn and garden. This starts
with identifying the type of shade that exists in your yard. But, just
what are the terms, and what do they mean?
Deep or Full Shade - This is the darkest areas of your yard or garden.
It receives 0 to 2 hours of direct sunlight a day. For example, this occurs
in the deepest parts of woods, on north facing slopes. Without any
sunlight, there is little or no growth on the forest floor, beneath the canopy
of the trees. Some moss and ferns may be present. To grow plants in this
area, your only option may be to open the area up to some light, by cutting
down a tree or two.
Partial Shade - These areas receive 2 to 6 hours of direct sunlight.
This is ideal for many types of plants. The most ideal conditions are gentle,
morning sunlight, and shade during the hot afternoon hours, when sunlight
is the most intense.
Light or Doppled Shade - This type of partial shade occurs where
tress with a less dense foliage exist. Light filters through the thinner
canopy of tree leaves. The swaying of trees in the wind and movement of the
sun, causes the light to shift. Many plants prefer this light level.
Armed with this information, you can now identify the light conditions in
your yard, and select plants that will thrive in those conditions. The tags
on plants and shrubs at nursery stores, will have light level information,
to help you in your selection.