- Vary and balance horizontal and vertical shapes.
- Unify structures with colour and design.
- Create a backdrop, such as a fence, a green hedge or a planting of several shrubs of one variety.
- Add points of colour or height.
- Keep plants, especially shrubs, well trimmed to maintain shape and style.
- Observe your garden over the seasons and move plants to maintain a pleasing composition.
Denise’s plant tips for deep shade
- Don’t overlook plants that prefer sun—or those that are typically invasive; while they may not perform as they would under ideal conditions, they can have an interesting effect. Gooseneck loosestrife, a bully in a sunny garden, grows shorter and behaves itself beautifully in shade. “I hate to admit it, but I also have some goutweed [Aegopodium podagraria] growing under the eaves of the garage.”
- Choose pale colours that glow in shady conditions: pale mauves and pinks, whites and creams, with deep maroon-to-black flowers for drama.
- Buy good-quality plants—the biggest, best-grown transplants you can afford.