Garden Ideas: Brightening up your dreary bits!


Garden Ideas: Dull, dark & dreary gardens.


Not all of us have wonderful sun-filled gardens and to be honest a bit of shade is always welcome, but what if your garden is just shaded. It can easily appear dull dark and rather dreary – so how do you go about brightening up your dreary bits. Luckily we have a few garden ideas and tips to help!


What do you see here, (which is a drawing of someone’s garden) that’s eye catching and interesting? Probably not a lot, the path steps up the slope and goes nowhere, the fence on the left is visually dominant and the patio retaining walls have been painted a rather interesting shade of chartreuse!

However, all is not lost, this can be made to look a whole to more interesting without remodelling the entire garden, how…well read on!


We’ve used plants from our upcoming MiniPlots designs that are suited to shady places, now admittedly you will need more than than the miniplot designs use, but these can be planted over time rather than all at once.

The key principle here is to create something visually more interesting, so your eye looks at that and thus notices the ugly bits less. In shade, there is only really one colour for flowers to choose and that’s white – especially if the plants flower in summer.  In the spring, this whole area can be planted with bulbs that will flower before the trees come into leaf. Keep to a colour palette, but yellow, blue and white are a tried and tested early spring colour combo’ that always looks good.

The hard edges of the retaining wall have been softened by using lush green leaves and powder blue coloured pots.  You still notice the fence on the left, but hopefully not as much as the white flowerheads on the right.

Another great way to improve the light levels in a garden is to ‘lift the crown’ of the trees, basically you cut off the lower branches to allow sunlight in.

So hopefully you can see that with a little thought (and a perhaps a PlantPlots design), your garden’s dreary bits can have a total revamp that won’t break the bank.

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  • Some really neat ideas here – especially good if you are a ‘new’ gardener

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