Creating shade in a landscape is beneficial for the gardener who likes a bit of a reprieve from the hot summer sun. But we often forget that many shade trees support pollinators, beneficial insects as well as birds.
A maple tree is a wonderful addition for any property. Maples provide exceptional shade, have gorgeous fall foliage and increase property value as well as support a wide variety of life from insects to birds.
In the shade of your maturing Maple is a lovely spot for a Redbud (above). Nothing comes close to providing gorgeous early color to the landscape than the rich pink blooms of the redbud tree which is a delight for gardeners and bumblebees alike.
Not to be outdone, the Oak (top image) is also a haven for beneficial bugs, mammals and birds. A mature oak is its own ecosystem creating a thriving environment of the wildlife we strive to support. One of our favorite flowering shrubs, that would do well with a bit of shade cast by a mature Oak, is the Bottlebrush Buckeye. This generous shrub does best when provided room to spread. Its exaggerated white blooms are a butterfly magnet and their dense branches act as a nice privacy screen in the summer.
Even with the oaks and maples, chances are you will still have some of your garden in full sun. A favorite shrub of ours, prized for its blue flowers and an easygoing nature, is Caryopteris. It’s a fine woody shrub that most winters dies back to the ground. It blooms in the depths of summer and is attractive to butterflies and bees. Avoid wet spots in the garden to have success with this shrub.