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How much light does your garden get?

Learn the different "types" of light. This will aid in selecting the perfect plants for your gardens.

Pre-planned garden designs and layouts:

A simplified way to enjoy a complete garden without the necessary planning. Kit includes the garden layout and all the plants. Ideal for the new or busy gardener.
Peruse our pre-planned garden layouts

Garden Collections

The next best thing to a pre-planned garden. Offered by Wayside Gardens, a provider of top quality perennial plants. Plants are grouped by color and planting preferences. The hard work has been done for you! View the many Collections

Light Descriptions / Requirements:

Full Sun:

A garden that receives at least 6 hours of sun each day is considered full sun. While there are several plants that like full sun, they still require plenty of water in order to withstand the drying sun.

Part Sun: Part sun is classified as a garden receiving 4-6 hours of sun with dappled shade from trees as well as approximately 4 hours of sun with shade either in the morning or afternoon.

Part Shade / Shade: Part shade may be used interchangeably with the term part sun. There are three main "types" of shade: dark, medium and light, with light to medium considered as part shade and dark to medium is considered shade.

Dark Shade:
Dark shade is typically defined as being very dense and dark, such as the area under evergreens. The choice of plants tolerant of this type of shade is very limited due to the lack of sunlight as well as the soil conditions. Soil around evergreens is acid in nature. You may improve the soil by adding organic matter, however, be careful not to damage the roots of the evergreens.

Medium Shade: For the most part, deciduous trees provide medium shade. However, large trees may provide dense shade not suitable for many plants. Trimming of tree branches may be necessary to allow ample sunlight to lighten the shade. Some trees may have roots close to the soil surface that consume a majority of the moisture and nutrients, which will make it difficult for new plants to compete. Spring-blooming bulbs planted under and around trees will receive plenty of sunlight before the tree's leaves are out.

Light Shade: Light shade is the shade produced from a building or tree as the day progresses. The north side of a building or tree is considered bright, indirect light. Plants recommended for full or part shade will do well here. The east Side of a building or tree receives morning sun and bright, indirect afternoon light. Plants that prefer full sun and part shade will do well here. The west Side of a building or tree receives indirect morning light and full sun in the afternoon. Plants that prefer full sun and part shade will do well here too. The south receives full sun nearly all day long.