Ken Druse’s The New Shade Garden: Lush Oasis in the Climate Change Age

by DerdriuMarriner

Author, blogger, gardener, lecturer, photographer Ken Druse’s The New Shade Garden has facts and photos on creating a lush oasis in the climate change age.

Shade gardens make outdoor life eco-friendly and economical

Globally warmed climate change acts to make sunlit areas feel more parched, look more scorched, and register 15° to 20° higher than shaded counterparts. Terraforming Planet Earth’s atmosphere back to healthy, hospitable configurations ultimately brings gardeners and scientists together since progress depends upon:
• bio-geographical practices;
• scientific advances;
• technological breakthroughs.

Beautifying the interiors of churches, factories, houses, offices, and stores with air-freshening phytoremediating plants and embellishing their exteriors with shaded oases of flowering, fruiting foliage from surface to treetop levels count among the first critical steps on 1,000-mile (1,609.34-kilometer) journeys toward minimizing climate-changing global warming.

Ken Druse’s The New Shade Garden expertly describes exactly how to go about creating a lush oasis in the age of climate change.




Shade gardens easily convey vibrancy, even during climate changes.

shade garden
shade garden

Shade gardens need water-dispensing control through soaker hoses


The American Horticultural Society emphasizes the experience and expertise behind Ken Druse’s in-person, in-print, and on-line accomplishments by listing The Natural Garden of 1988 among the all-time best plant-related books. The AHS furnishes similarly glowing evaluations of:

  • The Natural Shade Garden of 1992;
  • The New Shade Garden of 2015.

It gives the savvy author, blogger, gardener, lecturer, photographer high marks for clear illustrations and current information.

The New Shade Garden indeed has timeless, timely, user-friendly formats with:

  • introductions to eco-friendly replacements of fertilizer-gobbling, water-guzzling turf-grasses with pergola-/trellis-supported shade plants and woodland ground covers;
  • sections on food chain webs, shade options (light, filtered, full, medium, woodland), space layers (inner, in-between, outer), tolerant plants (covers, flowers, shrubs, trees, vines). 


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Shade gardens offer woodland eco-friendliness anywhere Earthlings garden


Twenty-first century shade gardens in fact imitate the woodland organization of non-woody and woody plants into lower, middle, and upper niches. The New Shade Garden therefore juggles the most carefree, exquisite, generous specimens into ground-covering combinations of:

  • Allegheny spurge;
  • alumroot;
  • American millet grass;
  • barren strawberry;
  • common blue violet;
  • cranesbill;
  • northern sea oats;
  • prairie dropseed;
  • sedge.

It keeps low-level habitats attractively colored, organized, and textured with such native bulbs as:

  • avalanche, fawn, trout lilies;
  • mission bells;
  • wind-flower.

It also lets in such colorful, fragrant, low-lying beauties as:

  • Adam’s needle, anemone;
  • baneberry, bee balm, beetleweed, bellflower, bitter-cress, bleeding-heart, blue mist-flower,  blue star, blue-eyed Mary;
  • cardinal flower, Carolina phlox, common/western pearly everlasting;
  • false alumroot, dragonhead, hellebore, nettle, Solomon’s seal, spirea.  


Womanswork 610sg Shade Garden Wheel: Available now via Amazon

Interactive garden planning wheels helps in shade garden: arrange plants by height; factor in bloom time, sun requirements and color choices.
shade gardening

Shade gardens promote eco-friendly gardening for Earth’s sustainability


Lower niches also merge such stunning natives as:

  • foam-flower;
  • garden angelica, gentian, goatsbeard;
  • Indian rhubarb;
  • jack-in-the-pulpit, Jacob’s ladder, jump-seed;
  • merry-bell, mint, monkey-flower, mountain-mint;
  • peony, poppy-wort;
  • queen-of-the-forest, queen-of-the-prairie;
  • Solomon’s seal, speedwell, spiderwort, spikenard, stonecrop, strawberry begonia;
  • three-flowered aven, turtlehead;
  • umbrella-leaf;
  • Virginia bluebells;
  • water aven, wild ginger, woodland phlox.

They gently nudge:

  • middle niches for alder, bladdernut, buckeye, chokecherry, crabapple, dogwood, hazelnut, holly, ironwood, pawpaw, plum, redbud, serviceberry, witch-hazel;
  • upper niches of American wisteria, beech, birch, Carolina jessamine, columbine, cross-vine, desert fan palm, dwarf palmetto, needle palm, pine, pipevine, poplar, saw palmetto, sycamore, trumpet honeysuckle, vase-vine, Virginia creeper.

All levels thereby offer gardening success since The New Shade Garden ends with composting, fertilizing, irrigating, mulching, potting, and pruning practicalities. 


The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change by Ken Druse ~ Available now via Amazon ~ #1 Best Seller in Shade Gardening on Amazon!

comprehensive guide to creating a shade garden with an emphasis on the adjustments necessary for our changing climate
shade gardening



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


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rain barrels

Sources Consulted


Druse, Ken. 1992. The Natural Shade Garden. New York NY: Clarkson Potter; New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland: Random House Inc.

Druse, Ken. 2015. The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 


Cedar Pergola Swing Set by All Things Cedar: western red cedar with sanded finish ~ Available now via Amazon ~ #1 Best Seller in Pergolas on Amazon!

Pergola-supported shade plants may serve as fragrant floral décor for pergola swing set.
shade garden pergolas
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

I Do the Dirty Work!: banana-colored t-shirt ~ Available via AllPosters

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The Natural Shade Garden by Ken Druse: Available now via Amazon

Award-winning gardening expert Ken Druse's personal selection of 80 ideal plants for natural gardeners, with 130 closeup photos
shade gardening

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 10/16/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 09/18/2015

blackspanielgallery, Planning definitely is not optional when it comes to gardening! So, yes, planting wheels serve most wonderfully well when navigating garden supply stories and nurseries.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/18/2015

Art7437, But the actual Ken Druse book always prettifies book shelves, coffee tables, wall cabinets, and writing desks!

blackspanielgallery on 09/10/2015

It is valuable to include a planting wheel, since finding shade loving plants is not always easy when one has to read while at a nursery. Planing ahead is helpful,

Mira on 09/10/2015

This looks like a nice garden to have inside a mall! :)

Art7437 on 09/09/2015

I download a book on this site

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