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Shady Gardening brighten with Herbs

Updated on March 11, 2017
Climbing Nasturtium
Climbing Nasturtium


A great addition to any shade garden are herbs; they add color, texture and great aromas. Herbs usually require less water, have few bug problem and are a culinary delight. Generally, herbs thrive in sunny garden locations but many can thrive in shady to partly shady areas as well. Most will do well in neutral, a pH of 6.5 or 7, well drained soil, with deep watering during hot weather.

Hops
Hops


Many shade plants do flower and give a little sparkle to a shady location but to add extra color that brings a glow, herbs could be your answer. Herbs can add the brighter color tones of blues and purples found in lavender, bronze fennel or violets; reds and yellows of bee balm, dill, tansy and sage, the pinks of coneflowers, foxgloves or the bright orange of nasturtium or the ever versatile marigolds.

Herbs can be used as accents plants adding interest to walkways, door entries or on the shady side of a garage. They can also be used to camouflage an unpleasant view as many grow three to five feet high; as fennel a five foot grower or sage that can reach three feet high. Climbing herbs, as nasturtium for their peppery properties or hops if you are into making beer or teas, are also great to block what you don’t want others to see.

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), hardy annual, 1628" tall width of 6 to 12 inches small white flowers form small umbels.   Sometimes referred to as gourmets parsley, chervil is used to season poultry, seafood, and young vegetables.  It prefers a cool
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), hardy annual, 1628" tall width of 6 to 12 inches small white flowers form small umbels. Sometimes referred to as gourmets parsley, chervil is used to season poultry, seafood, and young vegetables. It prefers a cool
Ginger (disambiguation), 2-4 feet tall, narrow, glossy, green leaves, grow best without direct sun, roots can be harvested in three to four months from planting.
Ginger (disambiguation), 2-4 feet tall, narrow, glossy, green leaves, grow best without direct sun, roots can be harvested in three to four months from planting.
Monarda didyma or Bee Balm
Monarda didyma or Bee Balm

Because of their upright growing habits several herbs can be use as tall or short hedges. A great way to add a dividing line or add background interest in your shade garden.


For a tall hedge you might want to try:

  • Monarda didyma or Bee Balm that grows one to three feet high and is an erect perennial with flowers that bloom in mid-to late summer in a variety of colors to chose from, although they do flower less in shade conditions.

Sagebush.Woodworm
Sagebush.Woodworm
  • Artemisia or sagebush/wormwood can be used as a stand alone shrub with fern-like leaves. There are over 300 species depend on how you plan to use it. They are known for their medicinal properties, brewing beers, wines or vodka; as well as for being a bug repellent on fleas and moths.

Rosemary
Rosemary

For short more formal hedge you could use:

  • Globe basil which makes a great miniature hedge, as their one foot annual stand takes on a ball-shaped form. To increase leaf production harvest before plant flowers.

  • Rosemary with its woody upright stems makes a stately plant, it is a perennial with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. In warmer climates it can be ever-blooming. Flowers that appear in summer can vary from white, pink, purple or blue.

Chamomile (German) (Matricaria recutita), perennial,  white daisy-like florets with strong, aromatic smell, grows up to 23" tall, prefers semi-dry soil.  Used in teas for its calming effect.
Chamomile (German) (Matricaria recutita), perennial, white daisy-like florets with strong, aromatic smell, grows up to 23" tall, prefers semi-dry soil. Used in teas for its calming effect.

Another great way to add herbs to your shade garden would be to plant them in pots and place them in varies sites during the growing season then lift them and move them inside during the winter season.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), perennial, 27-59" tall, grows in well-drained sandy soil, in partial shade, grows in clumps.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), perennial, 27-59" tall, grows in well-drained sandy soil, in partial shade, grows in clumps.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), biennial, 4-10" tall, grows best in moist, well drained soil, yellow to yellowish-green flowers.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), biennial, 4-10" tall, grows best in moist, well drained soil, yellow to yellowish-green flowers.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum), perennial, 6-18" tall, prefers bright light shade, moist soil, flower is globe like with numerous florets, winter hardy and long-lived.  Chives green stakes are used to add a light onion flavor and smell.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum), perennial, 6-18" tall, prefers bright light shade, moist soil, flower is globe like with numerous florets, winter hardy and long-lived. Chives green stakes are used to add a light onion flavor and smell.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), hardy perennial, 16" tall, prefers damp/moist soil in partial shade, sweet scented pale pink to white flowers.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), hardy perennial, 16" tall, prefers damp/moist soil in partial shade, sweet scented pale pink to white flowers.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), perennial, 18" tall, grows into small bush, spreads rapidly, daisy-like flower, cut back to ground in fall.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), perennial, 18" tall, grows into small bush, spreads rapidly, daisy-like flower, cut back to ground in fall.

Comments

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    • LivingFood profile image

      LivingFood 

      6 years ago

      Who knew that wormwood was such a nice plant. I drink the tea regularly for medicinal purposes...it's bitter, but it works miracles. Thanks for sharing these plants...

    • galine profile imageAUTHOR

      galine 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for your comments. Many do not know that many sun loving plants also do good in shade.

    • rutley profile image

      rutley 

      6 years ago from South Jersey

      Nicely done and I love all the pics. Love herbs too! I dot rosemary, thyme and parsley in all my flower beds.

      Voted up and thanks!

    • NyokaKi profile image

      NyokaKi 

      7 years ago from Perdido Bay

      This is very cool! I have been looking for something to plant on the west side of my house. (not very much sun there) I have roses through out my front and back yard, but that do not thrive in the shade. Thanks!

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