Many plants perform well in pots in shady places. Although the terrace garden receives less than three hours of sun a day, it hosts an array of brightly colored plants.
Just when I get a gardening routine down pat, new challenges arise to test my knowledge or shatter my perceptions. Such was the case when I moved from my previous garden—which had an open exposure bathed in sun from morning to sundown—to a garden overshadowed by tall trees.
My new gardening venue is a bluestone terrace surrounded by a mixed woods of tulip tree, American ash, and white oak. The 100-foot-high canopy is especially heavy on the south side, casting shade for most of the day. I wanted to make this terrace a home for a collection of potted plants, but I was skeptical about what would do well there.
I've since realized that container gardening in the shade offers numerous benefits. Shaded pots don't dry out as fast as ones baking in full sun, so watering is less of a chore. Of course, with plants growing in pots there's no competition from tree roots, which is often the case with shade gardening. Best of all, I've discovered wonderful new plants and different ways to combine them.