I have a few garden areas ruled by shade.
Shade: not enough of it in Summer: too much in Winter.
There's always that patch that drops out of production come June.
However there are many veg that will grow in the shady side of your outback: LIST LINK.
So I was renovating my area of shade with growth in mind when I thought about the family collection of mirrors. We always have mirrors on hand for mosaics but before they are smashed (and I won't bore you with all our bad luck) I'm gonna use them to grow veg.
North/South axis facing east.
The other good thing about mirrors in the garden is that they add 3-D depth .An illusion of grandeur.So if your patch is on the small size and you want to expand it visually: add a mirror.
Birds may assume its a fly-way but after they pick themselves up they know to better.
That's a bloody good idea!
I sometimes wonder about mirrors to brighten a corner but worry about the birds - and also running into that crazy old woman who roams the garden at times.
Yes indeed as do I ... probably unlikely that we could place the mirrors in such a way that the birds don't see them. And as for crazy old women ;-) we'd probably trip over the mirrors anyway.
I have a shady spot at the end of a path where I'd like to put some sort of interesting feature - but a mirror would mean that you would be confronted with yourself (or someone who looks suspiciously like your older relatives) walking toward it. I have reservations about things like clocks in the garden too as it takes away that "time doesn't matter" feeling you get gardening.
I have noticed that some spots in the garden get reflected sunlight from windows - you'd never know unless you notice the slight glow at the just right time of day. And I guess it shifts a little as the sun goes north and south. Another microclimate.
One bird, a rainbow lorikeet, hit a mirror in our front area. Picked itself up and flew up and on.
The trick is to integrate the mirror -- like a opening along a fence or hedge line -- so that it reflects what is in front of it. If you are worried about bird head on crashes, add a owl sticker. You don't want mirrors facing you as you walk along a path so you slant them to one side to reflect a feature other than your good self.
You can also put mirrors behind plants so that the depth and abundance is illusory. On the side of a pond is a stunning addition: you get a image of a lake!
As for supplies: dump shops. For effect, mirrors look best with a frame.
However my plan was not ruled by aesthetics...just light capture and share.
Peewee birds like to attack there reflection in mirrors saw one attacking the reflection in the train window at the station must spend the day waiting for trains to stop.
If you see bird strike as a problem break up your mirror with grill work -- such as wooden branches(eg: driftwood) or a wrought iron framework.It will add to the effect anyway.Traditionally garden mirrors were frames, latticed work and posed as doors or windows -- with effects similar to stained glass break up.Very formal.
But any odd wooden shape will do. Here we use a lot of melaleuca cut offs to good improvisational effect about the place. I find Mulberry cut backs very useful for adding shape.If you have trees -- then there is your resource.
If you have a shaded area using a wire platform to raise off the ground and using containers may help get more light .