Uniting Sun and Shade in City Lots With Well-Planned Landscape Design

The differences between landscaping and gardening the shaded part and the sunny part of a landscape can present challenges. Due to the size of a city lot, it can be challenging to have a landscape that looks as if it blends together. Developing a plan that looks like it has a definite design element and not like a gardener has just been dropping in a new plant here or there can be difficult.

Every landscape and garden offers some challenge, but the smaller the space the harder it is to make a cohesive looking landscape when the bright colors of sun loving annuals are blended with the more neutral colors of shade loving plants. Adding a water feature like a pond, or a stream winding through the garden into a pond, or a dry creek bed edged with boulders and planted with water-loving plants can help to make different areas come together.

Parts of the challenge can be that the conditions vary between the two sites or sides. One area may be able to take the intense heat and hours of sun, while plants in the other area grow well with less light and need more moisture. The cardinal rule is always plant any plant whether it is a flower, tree, or shrub based on its ideal growing conditions. The sooner gardeners accept this gardening and planting rule the sooner their garden and landscape will flourish.

Capitalizing on the differences presented by the plants growing conditions will make the landscape one with many moods. The color of sun and shade plants differ and can help make a compelling contrast that creates differing moods in each area. It’s about making the most of what a landscape’s site offers. If it’s an intensely hot and sunny area, create a flagstone patio, and surround it with a boulder barrier. The boulders will absorb heat during the day and give off heat that protects plantings along the base. Plus enjoying the radiant heat  from the boulders will extend the use of the patio at the end of the day and the end of the season.

Each lot has its own particular challenges, but a professional architectural landscape designer can help you bring out the best in your yard and develop an overall landscape design that flows well and complements your home.