Plants – for Sunny and Shady Garden Beds


I’m looking for a good plant selection guide for various parts of my yard. I live in a mature Toronto neighbourhood and have some planting beds that get 2 to 3 hours of morning light and others with full south exposure and get 7 to 8 hrs ( 6 am to 3 pm) of sun.

I prefer drought tolerant plant types.




Lucky you, you have a number of delightful plant choices to make!   These plants will range from those that need exposure to full sun (over 6 hours of sun each day) to those that thrive in partially or even fully shaded areas. Spots that receive partial shade are those that receive 2-3 hours of morning or afternoon sun, while fully shaded areas are those that get less than 3 hours of sun daily — you seem to have some beds in each category!

To start, I suggest that you review our response to a similar question, Small west facing front yard  – which highlights that selection of plants also depends  on personal preference and the type of soil you have in your garden. This response also sets out additional issues to consider when selecting flowers/perennials.

As well, we have a number of Guides posted on the Ask a Master Gardener site that should help you select plants, including:

Consider whether there are some plants in your neighbours’  gardens that you have found interesting over the past few years, and ask your neighbours about these.  They likely will be willing to provide advice (and perhaps even cuttings…). Your local garden centre may also help you determine what would work in your garden. And be on the lookout for local plant sales (e.g., in May).