Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
A plant’s provenance helps define where it will best survive. As the earth transforms over time, plants strive to adapt to change. They may develop the ability to retain large amounts of water to endure periods of drought. They may begin to grow fuzz to ward off chewing pests. They may adjust color to absorb or reflect more sunlight. Or, they may simply fail to adapt, become sickly and even die as the world changes around them.
In home gardens, respecting that various plants perform best under particular environmental circumstances can ensure our gardens remain relatively healthy, pest free, lower maintenance, less costly and more beautiful. Certainly, more intrepid gardeners enjoy pushing their plants to the edge of survival by experimenting with less likely locations for an individual plant. But, for those gardeners looking for rock-solid results from their plant purchases, respecting a plant’s known requirements is a best bet.
Begin by understanding your garden’s environment. Are you gardening in a deep, evergreen forest or a sandy, exposed desert? Is your soil typically acidic or alkaline? Are you in zone five or zone nine? Is it windy and is that wind filled with salt water? What amount of rain does your garden receive? Does it stay soggy all the time or just seasonally? Or is it just plain dry? Or perhaps you have some combination of all these things. Once you have assessed the basics of your garden’s overall environment, begin to drill down on where each type of micro-environment begins and ends. Then, you can embark on choosing plants that should flourish in each spot.
Most plants succeed in areas with morning sunlight. Following the dark of night, morning light isn’t as harsh as the sunlight that bears down from above at mid-day or burns from the West on hot, late summer afternoons. Generally speaking, many shade-loving plants will do fine if given a few hours of early morning sunshine. Later, shade lovers will require protection from the sun. Some like a bit of dappled shade – meaning shade with spots of sunlight filtering through. Others will require more complete, deep shade with little or not sunlight touching them. If you’re uncertain about what kind of shade a plant really requires, ask at the nursery before you buy.
Some shade lovers, like Jack Frost Brunnera (shown in shade at the beginning of the article and in too much sun just above.), won’t take the afternoon sunshine, but they will thrive in drier spots in the shade. This makes them particularly great for locations under large trees that easily take up nearly all the available water. On the other hand, shade-loving shrubs like Hydrangeas prefer a spot that offers them water to sip throughout the heat of the day, so both shade and water are critical for their success.
If your garden is more sunny than shady, avoid frying your favorite plants under the great heat lamp in the sky. If you find yourself falling in love with shade loving plants, take the time to shop for a something similar that is adapted to your sunnier garden. Odds are there will be a similar plant combination that will help you come close to matching the shade plant you adore. Most higher-end nurseries, garden designers and garden coaches can help you drill down on the best choices to match your wants with your garden’s needs.
Some tried and true sun loving plants like David Viburnum and many sedums, like golden ‘Angelina’ (shown below) will do double-duty by also thriving in the shade. But remember: not all plants can do double-duty. Many sun loving plants will be come leggy and more prone to pests and disease when grown in deeper shade spots.
And, of course, keep in mind that environments change over time. If your garden is sunny today, planting a strategically placed tree may help you develop a shade garden within a few years. Just don’t plant the understory shade plants until you actually have a shade garden in which they will thrive!
Should a tree that canopies your shade garden today end up falling or losing a sun-blocking limb, know that the garden below the previously shady spot may suffer. Some plants may adapt over time, undergoing stress at first and potentially requiring additional supplemental watering to get them through the adjustment period. Or, if they appear they’ll never adapt without sun protection, either add an immediate large plant, structural, or art element to protect them or move them to a new location. And, if you move them, then enjoy the opportunity to begin a new sun garden in your previously shady spot.