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Ten Backyard Landscaping Ideas for a Midwest Shade Garden

There is more to shade garden design than hostas!

Chances are, you’ve been spending a lot more time in your backyards these last few weeks and that may have led to thinking of the best backyard landscaping ideas. At Ryan Lawn & Tree, we work every day to create outdoor spaces you can enjoy year-round and we want to let you in on a little secret.

If you have had a backyard shaded by trees with hard-to-grow areas, you don’t have to rely on hostas to fill your need for a shade garden oasis! 

Sure hostas are great and many of them are ideal for warm, shaded areas. But there’s more to a shade garden than hostas! 

“If you have an area in your backyard under trees and you haven’t been able to get anything to grow there, that‘s a great place to add ground cover and shade perennials and make it enjoyable, instead of an eyesore,” said RYAN Pro Rebecca Hudson, part of RYAN’s outdoor living design team.

Hudson designs hardscapes and landscapes for homes in the Kansas City Metro area and pulled together her ten most favorite hearty plants and flowers for a shade garden to give you some backyard landscaping ideas.

Top Ten Shade-Loving Perennials



No more complaining about the lack of great plants for shade! Hudson went one step further by recommending plants that work best in shady locations with unique soil types. For super wet areas, Hudson suggests: pickerel rush, creeping Jenny, corkscrew rush, chameleon plant, forget-me-nots, and northern sea oats. And if your dirt has a high acidic content, consider: hinoki false cypress, hollies, Pieris japonica and rhododendrons.

Get Landscaping Design Ideas from Your RYAN Pro Today!

Whether you’re looking for various shades of green, textured plants that add personality or flowers for your shade garden, Hudson’s recommendations are sure to fit your needs. And, they’re hearty enough to last through hot, humid summers and harsh winters! If you have questions about what to plant in your shade garden to create a backyard oasis you can enjoy, Ask A RYAN Pro or reach out to our outdoor landscaping designers for the best backyard landscaping ideas in the Midwest!

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