How to bring light into a shade garden? 8 essential points to shed light on your green space. The shade garden has the major advantage of being very green and fairly dense, since the plants benefit from a 'climate' conducive to growing at their own pace, with a balanced general humidity ... But its major drawback is the lack of light, and sometimes cheerfulness! However, there are several ways to brighten it up a bit.
1. Play on the brightness of the leaves
There is a whole range of shade plants whose leaves can be variegated or have white or yellow edges. This is the case of hostas, stars of shade gardens, which come in many varieties: the 'Filigree Hosta', 'So Sweet', 'Cherry Berry' and the 'Golden Tiara' are particularly bright. Some others have the center of white leaves, such as 'Fire and Ice' or 'Extasy'. Among the clear leaves, some ferns are also fabulous and can even display an amazing yellow. Then put on the covers soils, an essential shade garden to replace the lawn (which requires more light). The small leaves of helxine and ivy can be light green or also variegated. Besides, the Latin name of helxine is 'soleirolia', evoking the luminosity of this fluffy foam, perfect for creating a zen atmosphere. Among the many ivies, choose ivy 'Gloire de marengo', hedera helix 'Glacier' or 'Colchica Dentata Variegata' … And if dark walls frame your shade garden, make it climb on it so that it catches the light. The space will be transformed by these brighter vegetated sections. The landscape designer Thomas Gentilini also advises to use on the walls , among the g the muehlenbeckia complexa, which is associated with plants with whitish colors on the ground, such as the common sedge or the ficus pumila with marbled foliage. Landscaper Clare Oberon also has her tips: "In shade gardens, I like to add golden or bronze and persistent foliage and play on the contrasts of shapes, in dry gardens rather luzules 'Luzula sylvatica Aurea', and in the cool gardens of Milium effusum 'Aureum' (a grass which is re-seeded), and heucheres 'Lime Rickey' - whose bloom is also vaporous and white ". Let's talk about blooms!
2. Bet on clear blooms
… Bright white or yellow! The essential is, first and foremost, the white hydrangea 'Annabelle', which landscapers often use to light up a dark garden, thanks to its huge, immaculate, high-pitched and superb flowers. Hydrangeas 'Grandiflora', 'Madame Emile Mouillère', 'Snowball', 'Lanarth White' or 'Libelle' are other attractive options. In addition, some hydrangeas have variegated foliage, such as the 'Tricolor'. Associate them, rather in partial shade, with white roses (Opalia, Iceberg or even the famous Ghislaine de Féligonde which flowers from white to orange) or a lilac 'Madame Lemoine' with large white and double flowers, for a dazzling spectacle. White hellebores and white arums are also the favorites of landscapers Thomas Gentilini and Clare Oberon in this category, along with the Mexican orange tree, acanthus, star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) or raphiolepis, which constitutes a pleasant shrub cushion. Without forgetting the anemone hybrida 'Whirlwind', the astrance (in partial shade) and the flower of the elves (Epimedium 'Fröhnleiten'), a perennial with clear foliage and a very bright yellow. Finally, let's add a white flowering ground cover here: the 'White Nancy' lamier.
3. Dare to color in your garden
Some flowering plants also come in color, even in the shade! Heucheres for example, euphorbias ... Trees and shrubs are also precious for bringing light and color to a shade garden: favor Japanese maple or Tellmann's honeysuckle for example.
4. Think carefully about the location of your plantations
Arrange your plants well, especially your shrubs and tall plants, this of course allows you to set the space well, but above all to let in the sun's rays and optimize the brightness. The first solution: create a vegetable version skylight by framing your garden with shade of light green or yellow bamboo, or even trees with white flowers, taking care to leave a large opening of sky to let the most possible light. Second solution: if the course of the light is rather adjacent, then according to the inclination of the sun in your garden, leave free these places to bring the light to the least illuminated points, and bet on deciduous shrubs like Japanese maple: losing its leaves in winter, it allows to gain brightness in the cold season, while adorning itself with flamboyant colors in the fall!
5. Furnish with clear materials
The choice of floor tiles is also very important: of course, in a shade garden, we forget the anthracite slates and other schists or basalts. We prefer clear, beige, pink or cream-colored tiles, like the Astoria ceramic range at Carré d'Arc, to be laid on white gravel for an even more successful effect. Or limestone - Crécy collection at Bradstone. Illuminating the floor allows natural daylight to be reflected and the space to be flooded with light.
6. Create sets of reflections
Here is another tip from landscaper Thomas Gentilini, using games of reflections to create another type of glow in the garden: "It is a question of installing metals (preferably stainless steel, easy to maintain) or mirrors which reflect on the walls the rays of natural or artificial light, to create indirect sunshine ... The shade then becomes semi-shade! ". The idea of mirrors is also used by Clare Oberon, who places them behind a massif, to both reflect light and visually enlarge the space.
7. Choose decorative lights
At nightfall, taking care to light up your garden allows you to enjoy it in a different atmosphere than that of daylight. Choose decorative lighting in harmony with the style of your garden, and work on the lighting: do you need LED lighting? Backlight to illuminate the leaves? Lighting centered on a particular space? Or several lamps here and there to create a great halo of light? Today there is a wide range of special outdoor lamps: Thomas Gentilini has a crush on the brands Roger Pradier, JPW, Vibia, Tal or Delta Light: "Different styles, from the historic garden to the contemporary patio, but with one thing in common: they are sculptural objects above all, they decorate the garden while illuminating ". We also love the new Maiori range, design and solar, nomadic, in a hanging or floor lamp version (the 'Paris' model or the 'Petite' lamp).
8. Create an atmosphere!
"Day and night, the flame of a brazier, like that of a candle, gives rhythm to the shade garden," advises Thomas Gentilini. Also hang some light garlands, especially the 'guinguette' style models that create a real party atmosphere. Finally, always on the decorative side, if your garden is walled or if there is at least one wall bordering your shade garden, painting it in pink, orange, red or white will finish brightening and brightening it ! Thanks : - Thomas Gentilini, landscape designer designer, 06 79 63 96 45, www.creation-jardin.com - Clare Oberon Sarl Landscapes & Cie, 06 22 18 62 48, www.landscapes-et-cie.com, www.facebook.com / Landscapesetcie