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Gardening in the shade

Many plants will actually thrive in shady areas

There are many garden plants that can not only survive, but thrive in the shade, like annuals such as begonia, lobelia and sweet potato and perennials such as astilbe, bleeding heart and hosta.

If you have a shady area, here’re some tips:

 Shade gardening often means trying to plant among established trees and shrubs where digging around roots can be troublesome. In that case, starting with smaller transplants will be easier so you won’t have to dig as large a hole.

 Just because it’s shady doesn’t mean you won’t need to water as often. Oftentimes, those trees can suck up available moisture leaving your plants thirsty.

 And yes, those trees can provide instant mulch in the fall but if you fail to shred the leaves before spreading them as mulch, you might end up with a matted mess that allows diseases and pests to thrive.

 To brighten shady areas use light-coloured flowers such as white, light pink or palest blues. Dark colours tend to get “lost” in shady areas.

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