Advice for a shady border

Hi I live on the south coast, about a half a mile in land from the sea.

I would like advice on our north facing shady border, which is natural chalky although I am adding in compost each year to improve it.  I attach two photo which will hopefully help elicit some ideas, the second is taken from the top of the garden but we look up at the garden through the window you can see.

it looks a bit bare at the moment but there are a couple of hostas to come up and 2 ferns starting to grow, along with a dogwood and a choisya.  I am concerned that I don't have much height or structure to the border, which itself is fairly narrow.  There are a couple of hebes towards the end of the border also, which I like but am not adverse to moving if it makes sense to in order to make room for a better design.

I will 

Thanks in advance




Posts

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,531
    I would widen the border a bit first and then maybe some climbers like climbing hydrangea, clematis, honeysuckle and even some roses are good for a north position. You could then plant in front, astilbes, Astrantia, ferns, foxgloves, hardy geraniums, tiarella, maybe a couple of terracotta urns.   Just some ideas 😊
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,194
    Hostas!!  :D
    Devon.
  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,531
    I didn’t miss you out Hosta, honest! Garden spurs said he had some already 😊
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,236
    edited April 2018
    I agree with Beaus Mum, consider widening that border. It's bare now, but many plants will spread after a few years. To make borders more interesting, you should layer in rows so it adds contrast, not only in colours but in shape and form. Bergenias, Viola Odorata, Tradescantias andersoniana, Aquilegias, Thalictrums, Japanese Anemones, Alchemilla Mollis and Liriope Muscaris are options for that border.
  • Many thanks for all of your comments so far.  I will definitely be considering a widening of the border.

    Anyone think of a all small specimen tree the might go well here? 
  • DYLDYL Posts: 67
    Many thanks for all of your comments so far.  I will definitely be considering a widening of the border.

    Anyone think of a all small specimen tree the might go well here? 

    An Acer would be my choice for a specimen tree.
  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,531
    Even a small specimen tree would eventually get pretty big for this border but if you decide that is what you would like then an acer sounds good 😊

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,236
    I think you need to be careful with the size of tree. There seems to be another tree on the back border that may clash if planted too close. 

    The space and height of fence should also be considered. I think Acers may not do that well there as you mentioned chalky conditions. It also doesn’t look that sheltered.

    I suggest, for height and similar look within scale of that space, Euonymus Alatus or Europaeus shrubs that can easily pruned to shape into a tree form, that could work. Plenty of interest throughout the year and autumn colour.

    Cornus Alternifolia ‘argentea’, the pagoda dogwood, another small shrub/tree that can easily shaped but naturally growing into a neat tiered shape that looks good in leaf as well as in skeletal form in winter.
Sign In or Register to comment.