Shade Garden in Bon Air Park

Shade Garden Display Case

Shade Garden Display Case

The Shade Garden, the first of our demonstration gardens, was established in 1989 on the site of an old rock quarry provided by the Arlington Department of Parks & Recreation. The purpose of the garden was to educate Northern Virginians about gardening in shade. Plants were donated by many nurseries, individuals and organizations. Master Gardeners provided the labor.

The garden underwent a major transformation in 2000 when the last of the large shade trees, a chestnut oak, fell. The garden features plants native to this region and is certified as a National Wildlife Federation “Backyard Wildlife Habitat.” A plant list is available for visitors.


The Shade Garden is located at Bon Air Park, Wilson Blvd. at North Lexington Street between Ballston and Seven Corners. Park in the lot next to the Rose Garden and follow the walkway into the park. To learn more about the  history of the Shade Garden, read the 25th anniversary article.


Here is the most recent brochure (2018) with information about the Shade Garden and the current plant list.

Also available is the brochure Tips for Gardening in the Shade 2014. Regularly, we feature a plant or insect that our gardeners find topical. Read more about them in the Featured Plant – Phlox and the Insects in the Garden – Phlox Plant Bug & White Flower Spider.

Shade Garden Throughout the Seasons

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