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Designing Shady Retreats!

Designing a Shady Retreat photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.

Many thanks to Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens for the Driftwood Garden Club of Marblehead’s well-attended January 2022 presentation on Zoom. Joan’s presentation of ‘Designing Shady Retreats’ has a wealth of ideas for those dappled spots in our yards.

Joan recommends many design techniques:

  • Make a color connection and choose companion plants with similar colors, or use companions on the opposite side of the color wheel.
  • Add balance to the design with fine textures, a variety of plant sizes, and use of solid foliage to offset variegated foliage.
  • Use layering and repetition to draw the eye to a focal point in the garden. Joan says, ‘where the eye leads, the feet will follow.’
  • Include rocks in the garden with a water feature, and to offer seating, and sense of structure.
  • Group plants in masses to be noticed from a distance.
Epimedium “Spring Wedding” photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.
Bloodroot “Multiplex” photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.

Joan Butler has been an enthusiastic gardener for over 30 years and believes gardens should invite you to linger in the world outside your door.  Please visit Enchanted Garden Design’s website at enchantedgardendesign.com for additional information on their design, speaking engagements, and guided tours of gardens and nurseries.

Shade border photo courtesy of Joan Butler of Enchanted Gardens.

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