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WindStar Wildlife Institute
Shade Gardening
When talking to people about landscaping for wildlife,
one of the most common laments we hear is that
they have too much shade and "can't grow anything."
While it's true that having an abundance of shade on
your property
changes your choices, that doesn't
necessarily mean that it
limits them.
T
o put a new twist on an old
saying, "the light is always
better in someone else's yard."
The same basic gardening
principles apply to shady spots as
to sunny ones, but you have to
study your site conditions
carefully and choose plants with
extra care to be sure you have a
good match.
There can even be advantages to
a less-than-sunny site. Shade
plants generally have more
chlorophyll to take full advantage
of any available light. These
species will thrive in shade but
may "burn out" in the sun.
Often variegated plants, or
those with colorful foliage, will
appear more brilliant when located
out of direct sunlight.
Trees will cut heating and cooling
costs when properly situated
around your home. Today we plant
only one tree for every four that
are lost, yet trees combat global
warming by consuming carbon
dioxide and releasing oxygen, so
the trees used in shade gardens
may become a critical
environmental factor in the years
ahead.
People often use the term
"shade" in a very general manner,
but in fact there are several kinds
of shade. If your garden gets at
least two hours of direct sunlight
during the day, that is considered
"partial shade."
When the sun hits the area only
in the early morning or late
afternoon, it is generally said to
have "light shade."
"Filtered light" occurs under
trees with small leaves, while the
ground beneath large-leafed trees
is in "dappled light."
If the site receives no direct
sunlight, but is open to the sky, it
is in "bright light," and if it is

Shade Gardening:

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