Meadow gardens have gained notoriety in recent years. While popular with home growers, many cities have also started to utilize roadsides and unused paths near highways as green space to encourage the presence of pollinators and beneficial insects. Planting options are virtually limitless in fields and meadows which receive ample sun, but how do you select wildflowers for shade?
Learning more about shade tolerant meadow plants can help gardeners continue to beautify and repurpose unused areas of their yards. This article will help gardeners living in the Central Ohio region, but everyone can benefit from the same general guidelines.
How to Create a Shady Meadow Garden
The creation of a shade tolerant meadow begins with careful planning. Before selecting plants, observe the conditions in the proposed planting location. This includes learning more about the soil types and understanding exactly how many hours of sunlight the planting space will receive throughout the year.
In doing so, you’ll be able to increase the chances of success by making well-informed choices on which shade meadow plants to grow. Exploring local botanical gardens or shady meadows in local parks can also be an excellent way to gain better insight into what plants to consider growing in your shady meadow garden. Always go with native plants first – and there are many to choose from throughout the Ohio Valley states.
A lack of sunlight often results in a lack of flowers, but this does not mean a lack of diversity within the planting. Ornamental grasses and foliage plants are often popular choices for shady meadow gardens. These plants may not necessarily be prized for their showy flowers, but they still serve a significant role in the meadow ecosystem.
Many ornamental varieties of native groundcovers and vines have been introduced. These plants, in combination with native woodland wildflowers, can create an expansive meadow planting that is adapted to growth under low light conditions.
In choosing wildflowers for shade in this area (or any other), remember that the light amount in the meadow may vary greatly from one season to another. Often, changes in canopies of trees results in more sunlight during winter and spring. Those wishing to create shade tolerant meadows with more blooms may consider the growth of naturalizing spring flowering bulbs or hardy annual wildflowers which are able to tolerate colder conditions throughout winter.