Making Shade

By Amy Grant | September 13, 2022
Image by Svetlanais
by Amy Grant
September 13, 2022

I love my yard. It is a continuous project but one that I adore working on. When we moved to this home five years ago, the landscaping left something to be desired which wasn’t a problem since I love a garden challenge. 

Landscaping Difficulties

Our biggest problem was sun. We have full sun in our front and back yard. In the back we had an ornamental crabapple which doesn’t shade anything and a Bing cherry tree that wasn’t very tall at the time. 

Of course the plants we chose to landscape with were suited for full sun, but what about us? We roasted working in the yard. There really is a thing as too much sun. Even some of our plants were getting sunburned. Really! So, we bought trees and vines. 

The trees were specifically for shade, but why not make them useful too? So we got grafted apple and pear trees. We also planted a grafted dappled willow that is magnificent and colorful, and a paperbark maple with its super cool reddish brown peeling bark and beautiful fall color. 

Vines for Shade

The vines work to shade us as well as making for privacy barriers; our fencing is chain link. To this end we have two types of grapes that shelter an entire side of the fencing as well as Virginia creeper, climbing hydrangea, Akebia (chocolate vine), clematis, and trumpet vine. Oh, and the newest member is a hop plant

All of these are in the back yard and keep us cool while allowing other plants to get plenty of sun. The front yard is still mostly a bare slate. So exciting! I have plans…

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