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The Best Way to Brighten Up a Shady Garden

If you have a North-facing or otherwise excessively dark or shaded garden, it can seem a bit like you’ve lost out to your across-the-road neighbours with their southerly aspects. There are actually loads of benefits to having a shady garden, but if brightening it up is on your agenda there are plenty of ways to do it through design. Of course, we’re going to recommend our own Composite Prime® products to help you achieve a brighter garden – but we’re also full of great ideas. So listen up for ways to inject a bit more light into your life, starting with your back garden.

Remove unnecessary shade

If you’re feeling ambitious and have a skilled hand with a chainsaw, it’s time to let loose in the garden and remove the unnecessary shade. If you don’t have a chainsaw, or you’d like to keep that skilled hand attached to your arm, call in professional tree surgeons to do the job for you. 

Ask your neighbours to trim imposing trees or hedges on their property. If they won’t, you can cut back any branches that overhang your garden and thin out canopies of leaves too.

Reflect light around your shady garden

The trick is capturing light then bouncing it towards the shadowy corners where it’s most needed. You can achieve this by using garden mirrors, shiny sculptures and water features. Consider replacing timber with composite wherever you can. From decking to cladding, composite materials reflect more sunlight than their wood counterparts, making them ideal for this purpose.

Use light colours everywhere

Not only does the type of material matter, but the colour also does. Dark colours absorb light, whilst light and bright colours reflect light. Paint all walls and surfaces with light and bright colours. You don’t need to go for white – cream, yellow and light grey will all work. Also, opt for light-coloured composite decking and cladding over darker colours. Use light furniture cushions and accent with bright colours to provide maximum pops of colour to simulate light.

Inject colour into your garden with careful planting

The best way to brighten up a shady spot is with some shade-loving plants. It’s absolutely possible to achieve this even in the darkest of North-facing gardens. Bright foliage often burns in sunny areas but will thrive in shade so long as it gets a little morning sun. Plenty of flowering plants will produce colourful blooms in shady conditions. We recommend bright coleus, pretty camellia and exotic rhododendrons and Japanese maple.

Light-coloured composite decking and composite cladding will brighten up your shady garden

The right materials will make all the difference. Composite products don’t require repeat painting or staining to maintain the light colour, and it’s easy to wash away dirt to stop them from getting dull and sapping the light out of your outside space. 

Use our interactive design tool Prime Design to try out different colour options to see how you could lighten and brighten your shady garden.

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