How To Brighten Up a Shaded Garden

With our focus turned towards outdoor living as the summer months approach, many of us will be gearing up to spend time in our lovely, bright gardens. However not everyone is blessed with a space that is filled with natural light, and it can be quite frustrating if you’re particularly green-fingered and want your garden to flourish. 

The assumption is that your shady outdoor space is a lost cause, but this is not the case! The following five steps showcase how you can make the most out of a darker garden by brightening it up with a different selection of plants and trying out new accessories. 

Lighting Solutions

Light up your garden at night with solar lights
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While it may seem obvious, adding your own sources of light to the garden instead of relying on the sun is a great place to start, and there are so many different styles to choose from. Outdoor garden lights can be wrapped around trees to create a focal point and draw attention to nature’s beauty, with fairy lights or stringed festoons being flexible to any space.

Why not add spotlights to your paths to create clear walkways whilst also brightening up the lengths of your garden? Make sure to add lighting to your alfresco dining area too, as it allows the whole family to enjoy being outside even as the night draws in.  

Carefully Selected Plants

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A shadier garden does not mean you have to avoid colourful plants, it just means thinking a little more about which to include in your space. Choose shade-loving plants that thrive in spaces with less light without compromising on colour and beauty.

Purple foxgloves, white snowdrops and blue poppies are all plants with intense colours and vibrancy. Not only do they provide pops of colour in a darker space, but they add greenery and texture that spark visual interest. 

Maximise Natural Light

A well placed arbour helps provide shade in your garden
Credit: Deposit Photos

There may be corners of your garden that are slightly overgrown or have taller plants that block beams of sunlight from peeking through. Trim these tall, overhanging leaves to allow for natural light to flood through in small pockets. 

Avoid dark tones when it comes to choosing your paving or decking, as they absorb more light and make a space feel even darker. Pale stones or gravel will help to keep an area light and airy.  

Add Reflective Surfaces

Credit: Deposit Photos

Think smarter, not harder when it comes to creating more light in your garden. Strategically place mirrors to reflect light and create the illusion of a larger space. They also double up as decorative features, so pick one with a colourful frame or abstract shape to reflect the style of the garden’s décor. 

Metallic accents such as stainless steel or brass decorations like planters and ornaments also work to add light as they shimmer when light hits the surface. Or install a water feature to amplify natural light as it glistens with the movement of the water. 

All is not lost if you find yourself with a shady garden. With a few small changes, you’ll transform your space into a bright and beautiful oasis.  

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