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Architectural alternative to Acanthus Mollis

Hi All, still planning my garden, feels like my head is going to burst after buying the allergy fighting garden book! I am however much better informed and am cracking on trying to choose the right plants for the right areas.

I have a corner at the back of the garden between the boundary wall and hornbeam hedge which gets very wet (will try and resolve it when digging up the garden) and is very shady.

I need something stunning for the corner and was drawn to Acanthus Mollis Rue Ledan but have just read a load of horror posts about how invasive it can be. Should I be brave and try it or can anyone recommend alternatives please? I'd ideally like something that is green and if flowering, white flowers or green flowers - def no yellow or red. We are coastal and from maps I think Zone 9 so relatively mild (though it doesn't feel like that today!)

Thanks all



  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,877

    Fatsia Japonica, maybe? Doesn't like to sit in water but OK with damp. It might be too shady for it though.

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,193
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks both. I like both, though I worry the Rodgersia flowers will look too scruffy, plus it will leave a big gap when it dies back each year. 

    I though Fastsia was high pollen but have checked again an it's not too bad so you may have solved my problem Raisingirl - thanks! Found an article that says it's fine even with deep shade so will check further.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,421

    What about Aruncus? The flowers die back but the leaves last from spring to autumn. I also like Actea - formerly Cimicifuga - but the leaves are dark.

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 695

    Hello monty..I have a small front side garden between house and back of garage gets hardly any  sun and it's cold and dank. In it are planted three Fatsia which were originally a house plant then split. They've been in for years and never falter. I do cut odd branches out when they get too big. Mine flower say NovDec but invariably they get cut off by cold weather so you shouldn't get pollen problems. 

    They are evergreen and architectural and mine are underplanted with snowdrops which are currently flowering their socks off. In the beds are a range of hostas so more interest later in the year. By the way I'm in NE England. 

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,288

    Artichoke violetta di chioggia. . Beautiful silver leaves and electric blue flowers. Tough as old boots but prone to ant farms. If the leaves spread too wide at the base or look tatty, you just cut them off.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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  • Thanks all. I've settled on a fatsia. I'm going to go for a 10l one as I am not a very patient person! Though you have now put a little bit of doubt in my mind chrissieB!

  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    Montyfangirl says:

    Thanks all. I've settled on a fatsia. I'm going to go for a 10l one as I am not a very patient person! Though you have now put a little bit of doubt in my mind chrissieB!

    See original post


    I have a few years experience of Fatsias now....

    We have a fatsia in full sun and one in rather deep shade.  The one in the sun does go pale green but it seems happy.  Great flower heads over winter.    However if you can offer partial shade it will appreciate it.   

    additionally, my deep shade one, it was a rescue from a garden centre, stuck in a dry glass house.  must have been a good 10 to 15l pot, was an awful lime green colour, we gambled it would be okay, saved 30% on the was fine after a few months and some new growth and buying the larger pot was a good idea. 

    also if of any interest, my sunny position fatsia is very constricted in a long/narrow raised planter and it has thrived over and above ivy, hebe and next to Bamboo.

    A very hardy thing.

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