I feel silly asking this.........

Discussion in 'The Village Square' started by Ronni, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,120
    Likes Received:
    3,567
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    ..........but feeling silly never stopped me before, so here goes. ;)

    How have you guys determined what parts of your garden get sun, and what parts get shade?

    I've been trying to figure out where to plant that clematis I picked up on impulse at the grocery store, but it's a full sun plant, and the only place I know I have full sun is in the front garden. And the only reason I know that is because I've been in the front garden, on the weekends primarily, at all times of the morning and afternoon, frequently enough that that's what I've figured out.

    But it's taken time, and observation, and I've even made notes and diagrams, because there's a part of my front garden that is shaded by the tree growing there (the one that's got to come down) and another small corner of it that is only partially sunny because of the position of the sun in relation to the porch which casts shadow on that corner of the garden. And none of that were conclusions I came to instantly, it took time, and in some cases I ended up completely reversing my opinion of what was in sun and what was in shade.

    So how do you do it? How do each of you figure out where the sun hits, when, and what's shaded, when? Am I just going to have to make a point of going out on a sunny weekend day when I'm home all day, and actually diagramming or photographing the same areas of the house every hour on the hour? :eek:
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads
    1. Sjoerd
      Replies:
      5
      Views:
      123,269
    2. toni
      Replies:
      18
      Views:
      327,568

  3. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,679
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    Location:
    S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
    Just pay attention... and keep in mind that the sun's position (or is it the earth's position?) changes throughout the year. The sun will be more to the south in the Fall & Winter. So some shade will "shift".
     
  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,634
    Likes Received:
    5,059
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    There really isn't any better way of determining sun and shade locations than through observation, daily and seasonally. So you have been doing exactly what all gardeners have to do for proper plant placement.
    When you live in a city/residential neighborhood you spend a lot of time observing. Trees, your house, other houses or apartment buildings will create your shade/sun locations. Trees will change that pattern as they get taller, wider and more densely leafed. In a more rural area there are fewer objects to create shady areas.

    And like Cheryl said, the time of the year makes the shade/sun pattern change too.

    Making notes and diagrams one day will hold true for that one day but a week later there will have been a slight change so it's quite normal to have to change your mind about shade/sun locations frequently during the year.

    Actually the earth is moving around the sun, closer in the summer/further away in the winter, which makes the sun appear to be moving north between the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice, then making the trip back to the south between the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice.
     
    Jewell likes this.
  5. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,902
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Location:
    Missouri
    Yes, observation is how you must do it.

    And some plants that like full sun in one place might not like full sun in another place! I have had a hard time with that the last few summers. It seems like full sun here in souther Missouri is harsher than full sun further north. Or something like that. Several of my new plants that said "full sun" died on me the last few summers, including rosemary and a few others whose names I cannot remember. They were burnt to a crisp in short order.

    So, do you live in a desert region of the country such as Arizona, or do you live farther north like New England ? If you live someplace where the direct sun is cruelly hot, I would put those plants in partial shade, NOT 'full sun' as it might cook them to death.

    My church has a lovely purple clematis that is in partial shade and it is doing very well. Other friends also have them in partial shade and they thrive.

    Clematis will need something such as a trellis to climb on.
     



    Advertisement
  6. jbest123

    jbest123 In Flower

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    New Kensington, PA
  7. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,120
    Likes Received:
    3,567
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    Thanks for the link, John.

    And to the rest of you....well dammit! :)

    I had hoped there was some magic solution that I just wasn't seeing. ;)

    I'm learning through trial and error. I moved several plants early in the season when I realized that one part of the garden was shaded for most of the afternoon because of the porch, whereas less than a foot away it was nothing but sun. And areas that I thought were pretty shaded were actually more sunny for longer than I'd anticipated because of things like one tree branch, or the roof jutting out right there.

    It's fascinating, but frustrating too, to realize what a difference even an hour can make in where it's sunny and where it's shaded.

    Too, I've learned the hard way that morning sun is a lot more forgiving and easier on the plants than afternoon sun. I've lost a couple that way.

    So much to learn!
     
  8. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,254
    Likes Received:
    3,194
    Location:
    Puget Sound Region of the Pacific NW,Zone7b
    Imagine my frustration! Having lived here for thirty years our yard has gone from full sun to primarily shade. From hot dry to a mossy haven. As you plant and uproot plants you get to experiment, experiment, experiment. Have fun with it. You might be surprised how a plant grows in your special little microclimates and how many rules do or don't apply. :-D
     
  9. jbest123

    jbest123 In Flower

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    New Kensington, PA
    July this year was 40 years for us. Like you every thing has changed. I have to admit that it was much easier when I was young.

    [​IMG]
    ( photo / image / picture from jbest123's Garden )
     
  10. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    12,067
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Location:
    Western Norway
    You'll have lots of fun finding out what goes where. I did, but like Jewell I suddenly realized that the pine tree had grown a lot and I had to either cut it down or move the plants. The tree's still there and the north side of the house is now a border. :D

    Since I live quite far to the north what passes for full sun here would probably be labelled part shade somewhere else. :D
     
  11. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Messages:
    5,601
    Likes Received:
    2,331
    Location:
    north eastern Pennsylvania
    And Ronni, If you didn't put something in the right place, it will tell you. Then move it. It's a pain in the neck but you will do it.

    I had about 5 of the same kind of plant. After the first year 4 were great and 1 wilted when it got hot and dry. Low and behold, it was in the sun. I moved it to shade and it has been happy ever since and I knew nothing about the plant before that.

    Now I am more careful about choosing a home for plants. I have all the conditions a plant needs round here.
     
  12. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    19,985
    Likes Received:
    18,333
    My garden is on an allotment complex. This means that the layout is completely flat.

    I divide the garden in half--veggie portion and the portion for flowering plants.

    Obviously I did not want any shade in the veggie section, but I did in the flower part. What I did to create some shade was to erect some arches and plant them with Clematis and Buddleja's which I pruned in such a way that they grew tall--more than 12 feet.

    This is what I did, and while the structures and plants evolve, I am pleased with the result.

    I hope that you have luck with your efforts. Please keep us posted.
     

Share This Page