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I have a small backyard in Illinois. And I want to plant flowers in my garden. The problem is,?

is I have a hugh tree out back and the garden doesn’t get a lot of straight sunshine. Are there any flowers and bushes out there that I could plant but don’t need a lot of sun? I’m trying to make a small butterfly garden. Serious answers only please? TY

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4 Responses to “I have a small backyard in Illinois. And I want to plant flowers in my garden. The problem is,?”

  1. annilou

    I love Impatiens. You can get them in bright pinks and they are such a pretty mass of flowers when there is lots of shade.

    If you take a trip to a garden center and just roam around and read the signs that are on each type of flower and bush, you’ll get whether they work in shade. There are lots of things you can use in shade. The thing about going to a garden center is that you see the real flower and can touch and smell if you are more a tactile learner. You can also see by the specifications on the cards whether they grow big or small, which is a consideration too, when planting.

    There are lots of Ortho books available at a garden center too, that are written about specific problems.

    There is also the public library you can use as a resource. There are lots of books with lots of pictures available. Through the years that’s how I’ve learned alot.

    Good luck and have fun. I love flowers–they seem to feed my soul.

  2. Ricky singh

    u might want to cut that tree … and put little tree their ..i know its expensive but u gotta have sun in your garden…

    can u please help me here ???


  3. crossstitchkelly

    There are a lot of plants that will take partial sun. My front yard is almost pure shade. Hostas work well in shady areas, but they’re mostly for the showy leaves (with a light lavender flower on a stalk in mid-summer). Begonias and pansies also work well. Depending on where you are in Illinois, there is a plant farm you might want to check out in west central Indiana, called Cox’s Plant Farm (coxsplantfarm.com). They have 3 acres of plants, the owners can help a lot, and their catalog is online. It lists different flowers by whether they are for sun or shade, annuals or perennials, ground cover, etc. Good Luck!

  4. stonefieldhill

    I always try to keep the wildlife in mind with our gardens here, and I love planting “butterfly friendly” items.

    Our front acre is almost entirely shade as well, but there are some plants and herbs that will flower and benefit butterflies even in the shade. I primarily use herbs (even in our shade gardens), and some of the ones that seem to do the best AND serve as a good source of food for butterflies and caterpillars are sweet violet, sweet woodruff, comfrey (bees, butterflies and hawk moths LOVE this!), lady’s mantle and such. I also round some of the beds out with a little more structure from some other reliable perennials. Tall phlox, verbirnum, hostas and native lilies can all supply food for butterflies and tolerate shaded areas just fine. I even have several flowering dogwood trees, which serve as a larval food source for several butterfly species, and they tolerate the shade from the mature trees just fine.

    For butterflies, make sure they have a water source and a windbreak as well. And if you have a sunny location, plant a few sweet fennel seeds. I found out by accident that this is one of the favorite larval foods of swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Milkweed is also the only larval food for monarchs, so if you have a sunny spot anywhere on your property, consider throwing in some milkweed or native wildflowers to encourage more butterfly activity.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

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