Considerations for Shade Gardening


A love of trees can be a dilemma for home gardeners. The beauty and majesty that statuesque trees offer, along with the time needed to grow to maturity, make even a thought of removing them anathema for us. That's probably as it should be—the trees may be older than we are! Our decision to cut down trees can have far reaching effects. But, besides providing privacy, serenity and seasonal variety, our trees make shade. And whether your interests are with vegetables, perennials or even annuals, too much shade can make growing an attractive, productive garden a task. So, what should be considered for a shady area?

Try to note, or at least estimate, the seasonality effect. The sun is a lot higher in June than in September and depending on the growing season of your area, the quantity of daily sunlight can vary significantly. Other factors, such as the location of your house and your neighbors' houses and trees may come into play. Sometimes pruning or trimming your trees can add substantial light. Oaks, Maples, and other popular hardwoods may need limited shaping. But the height and girth of the pines and the evergreens are more easily controlled.

Determine your garden's shade type as well as time. A single tree might provide only filtered shade while more expansive stands may completely block sunlight all day. You may have a situation where the morning sun is prevalent and very little afternoon sun is available—or just the opposite. Full sun is usually categorized as 4-5 hours per day. If an area receives no sunlight to less than a couple hours, it is normally considered deep shade.

Selection of plants for your garden should be, in large part, determined by the quantity of sunlight received daily. One last point: before turning that first shovel of ground, plans for future tree planting should be considered.

Privacy and Your Outdoor Swing

An outdoor swing is no good if you don’t feel free to use it. Some people have large yards where they can play with their kids, entertain guests, and relax on weekends. But the closer you live to your neighbors, the more you feel that you really don’t have your own space because you have no sense of privacy in your back yard. Dividers and fences can sometimes look unattractive. And what if you don’t want to shut up your back yard completely? You can use screens, shutters, or arbors to increase your sense of privacy around your outdoor swing.
You gain several advantages by choosing a screen as your privacy device. When you compare the cost of a screen to the cost of a tall fence around your yard, you can see that the cost of a privacy screen is smaller. Plus, if you want some privacy without closing yourself off completely, a screen provides what you want. Many screens are also mobile. If you purchase a screen you can move, you can find ways to get more use from it. Use it as a backdrop for special photos or decorate it for parties and showers. A privacy screen usually consists of several panels linked together with hinges. You can adjust them to some degree. A screen offers you a lot of flexibility.
If you want to make your own screen, try this. Find some old, tall shutters. Maybe you own an old house, and you have shutters stored away in the basement. If you know someone remodeling an old house, you might be able to score some old materials for free, just for taking them off your friend’s hands. Other places you might check include yard sales, estate auctions, and construction salvage yards. Once you’ve found your materials, give them a fresh coat of paint and install hinges. Bend the hinges so the panels will stand up on their own.
You can either buy or build an arbor, a framework upon which you can grow vines and climbing flowers. Be sure to measure your outdoor swing first so you can buy an arbor of the right size or the correct amount of building materials for a do-it-yourself project. Plants that work well on arbors include ivy, sweet pea, roses, honeysuckle, wisteria, morning glories, and more. But not every plant will perform equally well in the same spot; some like shade, and some like sun. If you need help determining which plants would thrive around your outdoor swing, consult a gardening friend or a salesperson at a plant nursery.
Increasing your sense of privacy around your outdoor swing does not have to become a hassle. Choose a more intensive project like an arbor, or solve the problem quickly with screens or shutters. The nice thing about screens, shutters, and arbors is that they can become decorative aspects to your landscaping. Most people can’t say that of a privacy fence. With screens, shutters, or arbors, you can invest the level of time and money you feel comfortable with. You can enjoy private time in your outdoor swing by taking a few simple steps.

Rachel Dawson is a freelance writer who enjoys quiet getaways outdoors. She writes about outdoor swings and cushions.

Top 10 Uses for Privacy Shade Cloth


Top ten uses for Privacy Shade

If you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors chances are that you could benefit from the many uses for Privacy shade.  It’s easily customized to fit a specific size space.  Its light and compact which makes it easy to take with you on the go.  When its not to hot and you would like a little more son, it is easy to take down.

Top ten uses for privacy shade:

1.  Shade over you deck or patio

2.  Privacy screen from neighbors

3.  Wind screen for yard, patio or house

4.  Shade for sports and recreation

5.  Shade and wind protection for livestock animals

6.  Shade and wind protection for dog kennels

7.  Shade and wind screen for garden

8.  Shade and wind protection on a boat

9.  Shade for greenhouse

10.  Shade your vehicles from the harsh effects of ultraviolet light


Knitted Shade cloth can be used for just about any type of structure on your property or on the go and comes equipped with different levels of UV protection—50, 70 and 90 percent. Use whichever level of protection you need.  It can be secured permanently on solid structures with staples or screws.  It can also be secured with cord to trees, posts, the side of a house or RV.  The cord can be fastened with grommets or shade cloth snaps.  You can order a custom piece as well as order a large roll and customize it your self.  The possibilities are endless.

Shade cloth can provide vital protection for you and your family, especially during those long hot days of summer.  After all, you should be enjoying the outdoors with your family instead of squinting and burning in the hot sun.


Shade cloth screen

Shade cloth screen


The Shade Store carries extensive range of custom draperies available in all styles and colors. Order now online.