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How to Design a Colorful Shade Garden

Vibrant shade gardens may be hard to create. We always assume that it’s hard to grow something in the shade. But it’s possible to convert a dull shade garden into a colorful and exciting paradise throughout the seasons. You only need to pick up some simple design concepts to get started.  

Is your lawn being choked by shady grass or languishing under shady trees? Worry no more. You can still make a fantastic shade garden in those dark sites. You can use different shade garden design ideas to revamp your garden and give it a new look. 

You only need to keep your shade garden clean and healthy. If there are weeds and grass, use effective herbicides like the crabgrass preventer to kill them and provide more space for the right plants. Below, we offer tips you can use to design a colorful shade garden.

Select Plants with Vibrant Leaves


Here, we are after making a shade garden more colorful. So the first rule is to choose plants or flowers whose leaves are colorful. This will guarantee nonstop color for your yard in all seasons, even when your shade garden plants are not blooming. Examples include caladiums, cannas, coleus, hostas, smoke tree, ninebark, or sumac.

Clump Colorful Plants Together

Grouping colorful plants together is an excellent way of giving a bold effect on your shade garden. Clumping them into groups of three, four, or five all over the lawn makes the shade garden brighter than positioning one plant in different spots. Grouping not only brings out color and style but also helps plants to grow well. 

When grouping, keep in mind the design aesthetics and different plant requirements. One principle you should use is to group colorful plants of the same family with similar water and sunlight requirements. For instance, hosta and astilbe are perfect companions in shade garden grouping. Their diverse varieties of flowers and multicolored foliage add color to dull areas of your yard. 

Go for Soothing Colors

Many people assume that green is the color for a shade garden. But you don’t have to make it all green. Experiment with different types of soothing colors, such as splashes of white with soft tones of blue and pink. You can even consider incorporating different shades of green with a few touches of chartreuse and bright yellow, such as the hostas plant. 

Soothing colors work wonders in giving a restful color scheme that illuminates your shade garden, especially in the evenings. A shade garden is supposed to be a relaxing oasis that welcomes you on those hot summer days. And there is no better way to offer a vibrant and calming effect than through planting flowers and plants with soothing colors.     

Augment the Shade Garden with Water and Stone


Be it flowing water, birdbath, or a fountain, adding a water feature will help create movement, add sound and reflect light to an otherwise gloomy, dark, and quiet space. Water features can attract birds into the garden making the space livelier and can serve as an oasis in hot seasons. Stones are also good at making a shade garden colorful. When adding them to your design, do not choose dark-colored rocks. They will fade in such gloomy conditions. Instead, opt for light-toned steppers or white pavers to edge the paths and the beds. 


Creating a colorful shade garden may be a challenging task, but it is possible to achieve one. When planning for a vibrant outlook, it is crucial to select the right plants and the right colors. You can enhance your design by grouping and adding other features such as flowing water and light-colored stones. 

With this in mind, what elements are you planning to incorporate in your shade garden to make it more colorful? Let us know in the comments. 


Author’s bio:  David Kaba has been writing about the design and use of plants in the interior for 2 years. He also had a lot of home improvement ideas.  David is also an advanced farmer who cares about the environment and considers it everyone’s duty.


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