Plants That Thrive in the Shade: Planting a Shade Garden

Planting a Shade Garden

Many a gardener was taught that the majority of plants love and require sunshine, but what do you plant in your yard in shady areas? People love to seek some cool shade on a warm summer day. Like people, there are a variety of plants that thrive in the shade.

There are three types of shaded areas: partial shade, dappled shade and blocked shade. Partial shade is when an area only receives about half a day’s worth of sunlight, usually 3-4 hours in the morning. Dappled shade is light shade that reaches the ground when it’s filtered through the trees. Blocked shade is when an area is completely blocked by a fence, building, or other object.

The most common types of plants that work well in a shade garden are shrubs and perennials. Keep in mind that there are many different types and categories of plants that will work in a shaded area of your yard, we are just going over a few options. See your local nursery or contact a landscape designer for other suggestions.

Shrubs for your shade garden:


  • 2 tone green, waxy leaves
  • Broadleaved evergreen-stays green all year
  • Prone to frost damage when over-watered in the fall
  • Height: 2-5’ Spread: 2-4’
  • Medium water use

Planting A Shade Garden


  • Broadleaved evergreen
  • Wide variety of leaf shapes and colors
  • Some can be sheared into hedges
  • Height: 2-5’ Spread: 4-6’
  • Medium water use

Planting a Shade Garden


  • Broadleaved evergreen
  • Dark green leaves with bright colored berries and flowers
  • Spiny leaves-take caution
  • Height: 2-6’ Spread: 2-6’
  • Medium water use

Planting A Shade Garden


  • Shade loving plant
  • Loses leaves in the winter
  • Topped with huge showy clusters of white/green flowers
  • Height: 2-3’ Spread: 2-3’
  • Medium water use

Planting A Shade Garden


  • Broadleaved evergreen-emerald-green foliage
  • Requires protection from winter winds/not ideal for high altitude
  • Bright green growth in spring and orange-red berries in fall
  • Height: 4-15’ Spread: 5-8’
  • Medium water use

Planting a Shade Garden

Perennials that thrive in shade:

Sweet Woodruff

  • Fragrant white flowers
  • Ideal for areas under trees or along walk ways
  • Star shaped leaves
  • Height: 6-12” Spread: 18-24”
  • Low water use

Planting a Shade Garden

Bleeding Heart

  • Blooms late spring to early summer
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Height: 24-36” Spread: 24-30”
  • Medium water use

Planting a shade garden


  • Multi-colored leaves
  • Smaller in size
  • Does well in full shade or sun
  • Height: 12-24” Spread: 12”
  • Medium water use

planting a shade garden


  • Invasive ground cover
  • Evergreen, glossy, oval leaves
  • Ideal for dappled areas of shade
  • Height: 4-6” Spread: 24-48”
  • Low water use

planting a shade garden

Almost every yard and garden has a shaded or partially shaded area and with the proper research and enough effort, you can have a beautiful variety of plants that will thrive. For more information on how Timberline Landscaping can assist you with your landscape, view our Residential Landscape Design and Construction page or contact us.

3 Important Things You Should Know Before You Landscape in Colorado

So, you want to begin a landscaping project in Colorado. How exciting! You are in for the ride of your life with this little home improvement project! Although all of those HGTV home improvement shows make it seem easy, landscaping is more than just picking out a few pretty plants and bushes and implanting them in their new permanent home. Landscaping in Colorado can be a tricky ordeal that takes some consideration and planning. Colorado has many different climates thrown into one beautiful state. Colorado is made up of mountains, foothills, high plains and desert lands, all which are affected differently based on what mountains and valleys surround the area. There are three important things you should know before you begin your Colorado landscaping project. Continue reading 3 Important Things You Should Know Before You Landscape in Colorado

Timberline outdoor kitchen

Choosing Assets for Your Colorado Outdoor Kitchen

When the weather in Colorado Springs is nice, spending time outdoors might be the only priority on your mind. With an outdoor kitchen, you can take grilling an outdoor meal to the next level with high-quality counter space, storage for your dishes, plumbing and a sink for cleaning, and more.

Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen

Before you can consider what different features you want or need for an outdoor kitchen, think through what your vision is for your outdoor kitchen and how you want it to function. Some things to consider include:

  • Does the outdoor kitchen need to be child safe?
  • How often am I going to cook outside?
  • What are my grill options (gas, propane, rotisserie, etc?)
  • Do I plan on eating meals outside?
  • Do I want to wash my dishes and hands outside as I cook?
  • What would I like to cook outside that I can’t now?

Once you’ve assessed what your plans are for your outdoor kitchen, you can decide what materials and features you need for a long-lasting, beautiful outdoor space.

Choosing Your Countertops

Countertops materials can vary, including concrete, stone, glazed tile, and granite. You want your countertop to be extremely sturdy. Not only does the countertop need to withstand hot plates and being cooked on, but they also need to be able to withstand weather. If your countertop cannot withstand extreme weather, it will not last as long, and you will not get your money’s worth out of the purchase.

Choosing Your Cabinets

Your choices for cabinets for an outdoor kitchen are much more limited than your choices for an indoor kitchen. Like your countertops, they have to withstand weather and stay sturdy outdoors for many years. Some of our favorite finishes are stone veneer, corrugated metal, barn wood, and stucco.  We use pre-framed cabinets that are ready to finish and can add drawers and stainless-steel doors.

timberline outdoor grill

Choosing Your Grill and Accessories

Your grill is the center of your outdoor kitchen, and it is likely the part of your outdoor kitchen that you will use the most. That being said, there are many different options to choose from.

Natural gas grills are higher in cost upfront, but their ongoing costs are typically lower than other types of grills.

Charcoal grills can be more time consuming to light and maintain than other types of grills. However, the charcoal of the grill infuses a deep flavor into the food you are grilling on it.

Rotisserie is a common option as well if you like to cook this way.  Electricity will be required for this which can add cost.

Low volt lights are a great option if you like to cook out during winter when the sun goes down earlier.  Again, electricity is required for this option.

Drawers to store utensils are nice additions to grills that can be installed outdoors.  Some can be heated which can be used to store towels in for hot tub owners.

Choosing a Pergola

Adding a pergola above your outdoor kitchen can add the perfect touch to your cooking and dining space. Not only does it create shade for you, but you can also grow flowers and vines on it or add lighting to create a beautiful, lush ambiance.

Adding a pergola to your outdoor kitchen space can not only create some shade as you cook, but it also gives you the opportunity to set up a complete outdoor dining area by giving you a reason to set up outdoor tables and chairs so you can share large meals outside comfortably with friends and family.  A pergola can help define a specialized area for either dining or cooking or both.  It does provide an upgraded estate feel for your property which will be noticed by all who enter the space.

Adding a Sink or Refrigerator

Adding an outdoor sink or refrigerator can be great for those who love to entertain – sinks make it easy to wash dishes outdoors and refrigerators are great for storing drinks and food. However, when installing these features, keep in mind that they must be properly winterized and maintained to ensure that they continue to function.

For more information on how Timberline can help you set up your dream outdoor kitchen, view our Residential Landscape Design & Construction page.

preparing your yard for spring

Preparing Your Yard for Spring

There is nothing quite like Spring in Colorado Springs. Greening grass and budding trees make us anxious to spend more time outdoors. Whether or not you enjoy lawn care, you are sure to love our tips to make Spring and Summer lawn care a breeze. Timberline Landscaping’s lawn care professionals have put their heads together to create this list of tips to prepare your yard for spring to ensure your yard gets a healthy start this year.

Spring Lawn Care 101

Cut back ornamental grasses and Russian sage

These are the two perennial types that we recommend leaving un-cut over Winter months to provide Winter interest in your garden. Now is the time to cut them back so that you do not risk cutting the tips off newly emerging plants. Grasses need to be cut to within 3” or less of the ground. Leaving more than this creates an environment where the center will rot because it holds moisture in the remaining grass stalks. Russian sage should be cut back to 6” to allow for any stems that overwintered to sprout new shoots and leaves, otherwise, if they did not overwinter they will grow from the base of the plant near ground level. Continue reading Preparing Your Yard for Spring

high schoolers learning landscaping

Timberline Partners with Local High School to Create Intro to Landscape and Irrigation Curriculum

For the students at Falcon High School in Colorado Springs, learning the ins and outs of landscaping and irrigation starts in the classroom. For the past several years, Timberline and the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) have worked with David Kranz, agriculture teacher from Falcon High School, to help formulate the Intro to Landscape and Irrigation course curriculum.

In addition to launching the course, Timberline has also launched six internships to support the program and give the students real-world experiences.

students working on landscape

About the Program

The purpose of the Intro to Landscape and Irrigation course curriculum is for students to learn landscape and design skills in the classroom, and then provide the students with real-world experience via internships. David Kranz, the Career and Tech Ed (CTE) instructor who helped launch the initiative along with the ALCC and Timberline at Falcon High School, saw the value in the program from the start. Continue reading Timberline Partners with Local High School to Create Intro to Landscape and Irrigation Curriculum

Why Select a Landscape Industry Accredited Company

It is a fear many of us will experience. You have just handed a check to someone you have briefly met in exchange for services at your home or business. Sure, their online reviews were great, but can you really trust that they will provide you the wonderful experience or product they claim? Thankfully, the National Association of Landscape Professionals has a new designation to help combat these fears when selecting a landscape contractor. Timberline Landscaping is proud to be among the first 3 landscape contactors in the United States to earn the “Landscape Industry Accredited Company” designation, but what on earth does that mean for YOU?

Landscape Industry Accredited Company

Landscape industry accredited companies are:

Committed to Customer Service Excellence

Continue reading Why Select a Landscape Industry Accredited Company

Landscape design

Things to Consider When Landscaping a New Home

When beginning the process of landscaping a new home, it’s important to consider every aspect of the process and every potential roadblock before getting started. Here are some of the biggest things to consider before you officially start work, so that the process goes smoothly.

HOA Requirements

When building or landscaping a new home, you must keep in mind the various landscape requirements your home and landscape features must meet to satisfy HOA guidelines. To know if you are abiding by your local landscape requirements and ordinances, you must submit your plans to the HOA and wait for approval before installation can begin.

Ultimately, this means that it’s vital to consider your landscaping project with plenty of advance notice to prevent potential hold-ups. Some of the landscape pieces you need to consider include:

  • Rock and mulch color specifications.
  • The number and species of trees and plants.
  • Installation timelines.

Considering these factors early and submitting your plans in a timely manner can ensure that if there are any issues with your HOA, you can solve them before the project starts and your landscaping project can run smoothly. Continue reading Things to Consider When Landscaping a New Home

textured bark on an aspen for winter interest in the garden

Planting for Winter Interest

While winter is often thought of as a season of dormancy there are several ways you can continue to enjoy the beauty of your yard, even in the dead of winter. Our landscape designers created this list of characteristics and recommended plants when planting for winter interest.

When selecting plants for your garden consider the following characteristics for added winter interest:

Choose plants & trees with interesting shape.
These are lovely when the snow falls or a layer of frost forms and is caught upon branches.

Seek out year-round color through foliage, berries, or evergreen shrubs and trees.

Plant trees and shrubs with interesting texture and bark patterns.
When branches are bare this provides an excellent pop of color and visual interest.

Planting for Winter Interest

Colorado Springs Christmas Lights Guide 2017

Christmas Decor by Timberline

The holiday season is here again, and there is no better way to celebrate than to take a Christmas lights tour around Colorado Springs! We’ve updated our guide of must-see areas, businesses and homes that have fantastic Christmas lights. We’ve also highlighted some hot cocoa & coffee stops along the way so you can stay cozy while you browse, and have included a playlist of all the best Christmas music to enjoy while you drive.

Continue reading Colorado Springs Christmas Lights Guide 2017

Incline Update: November 6th, 2017

Manitou Incline ConstructionAs of today Phase III of construction on the Manitou Incline has reached 90% complete! As long as we do not experience significant weather delays the trail will reopen on December 1st, 2017.

All retaining walls and water chases are finished. The tie steps have been placed and bracketed. Our next steps will be to add the cable that will attach to each step and lay erosion control netting along the sides of the trail. Care has been taken with the layout of steps to ensure that the trail is still a very difficult climb.

Manitou Incline ConstructionManitou Incline Construction