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Shady Plants

New here and a complete newbie gardener. I live in a flat and have a couple of small spaces to fill. The first now has a mini pond, a few grasses and some wildflower seeds just coming through. The other area is more problematic.

The area (see pic) is in permanent shade but exposed to the rain etc .. I'm struggling to find what to plant there. I've identified Luzula Nivea as a grass but would like a bit of colour and something to attract wildlife too. I do like imperata cylindrica 'Rubra'  but I suspect it wouldn't handle the shade .. or would it?.

any plant must

be ok with shade
not grow higher than say a couple of feet (ie keep below window height)
takes minimal care (or I'll kill it)
ideally wildlife friendly

all suggestions welcome .. thanks


  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,968
    Some large variegated leaf hostas would look lovely.  The white really stands out in the shade.  You'll really need to work on the soil.. I would pull up all the weeds and put a few good sized bags of garden compost over the area.  You probably won't be able to fork it in much on account of the tree roots.. but do the best you can without damaging any.  
    Utah, USA.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,403
    Assorted ferns could work as well as hostas.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,669
    The above plus Brunnera Jack Frost, Pulmonarias, Epimedians, Achemilla Mollis, Bergenias.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,403
    ...and bulbs. Lots of bulbs amongst it all.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    The above plus Brunnera Jack Frost, Pulmonarias, Epimedians, Achemilla Mollis, Bergenias.
    Alchemilla mollis can take over if you're not careful! But the first three are worth having.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,403
    How dry is it? Between the tree canopy, roots (taking up water) and the walls, it looks to be pretty dry. It would affect which plants will do well. Lots of good soil conditioning and thick mulching will help, if it's a problem.
  • Thanks all so far and have been crossing checking where I'm planning to order from. Will probably end up being a dogs dinner of plants but I like it to look a little wild anyway. Yes .. a good idea to compost and dig in I think. It's well compacted and probably not great quality ... not especially dry .. well not at the moment anyway :neutral: .. keep em coming 
  • rosemummyrosemummy Posts: 2,010
    Can I hijack this? I have a north facing border under a world dominating jasmine, inherited rambler& honeysuckle& jasmine, I've planted helebores which are slowly getting settled, a couple of astrantia, some lily of the valley& I've just ordered 2epimediums...last year I planted 15 wood anemones& 5pulmonaria but they've disappeared! Why do my plants vanish??? Any ideas welcome & advice on epimediums too please ( though the one I really wanted the nursery was asking £12.50 postage & I can't bring myself to accept that)
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