Free Garden Plans and Plants for Shady Places

I have recently moved to the Ozark Mountains, and a massive number of rocks and large stones in the soil  make gardening almost impossible.

A Waterfall in the Ozarks ©Jacki Kellum 2018

Don’t get me wrong, the Ozarks  Mountain Region is the land of waterfalls, and if you can dig a trench into your lawn, it is a great place to have a trickling brook. But the earth is almost impossible to till. On top of that, I have another potential problem in my yard. It is heavily shaded.

Jacki Kellum Back Yard 2018 – Before Planting Her Shade Garden

I have realized that I can either stubbornly continue to plant roses and sun-loving perennials and grieve over their lack of performance, or I can deisgn a shade garden, and be thankful for a different kind of landscape. Regardless of your landscape needs, Better Homes and Gardens online has a fabulous set of garden plans.

The following plan relies on hostas, caladiums and lungworts.

Shady Foliage Garden Plan


Plot Size 16′ x 10′

A. Hosta Royal Splendor
B. Hosta Yellow Rose
E. Lunwors [6]

Image result for lungwort plant

Lungworts are even sold at Home Depot. Home Depot says that lunworts are perennial and that they should be planted 12″ – 18″ apart.

  • Botanical name: pulmonaria twinkle toes {also called Bethlehem Sage]
  • Grows and flowers best in partial shade

2.5 Qt. Edithae Camellia - Evergreen Shrub with Dark Pink Double Blooms, Live Plant

Camelias also grow in parial shade

Japanese Maples Are Perfect for Small Gardens – They Even Grow in Partial Shade – What is the Difference between Bloodgood and Other Japanese Red Maples?

Japanes Maples also grow in partial shade

Free Garden Plans & Companion Plants for Japanese Maples & Azaleas

Image result for endless summer hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are probably the queens of the shade gardens, but not all hydrangeas bloom in the sun. Be sure to read the label to see if the plant that you are considering is a sun-loving plant or if it prefers the shade.

Image result for jacki kellum first hydrangea

First Hydrangea – Jacki Kellum Watercolor

The following plan from Better Homes & Gardens utilizes hydrangeas:

Easy-Care Summer-Blooming Shade Garden Plan


A. Hydrangea Light-O-Day [6]
B. Hydrangea Endless Summer Blushing Bride [8]
C. Shrub Rose Rosa Little Mischief
D. Dwarf Mock Orange [2]
E. Geranium Rozanne [9]
F. Siberian Iris [6]
G.Switchgrass  Prairie Sky [4]
H. Lilac Tinkerbelle [2]
I. Oak Leaf Hydranea
J. Hydrangea
Endless Summer [5]
K Astilbe Snowdrift [3]

I found a great article today on Hometalk, where contributor Gladys King shared images of her shade garden. She readily admits that her shade garden has been growing for 20 years, and I acknowledge that I won’t achieve this kind of garden in one season, but Gladys King provides an excellent example of how beautiful a well-planned and maintained shade garden can be.

Gladys Knight Shade Garden

Gladys Knight Shade Garden

Gladys Knight Shade Garden

Notice the Raised Beds in the above photo. Since it is virtually impossible to dig into the soil in an Ozarks Mountain Garden, I have already begun building raised bed in my yard, and I’m filling them with topsoil.

Fall Is A Great Time to Begin Building & Filling Raised Beds for Next Spring’s Gardens