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Planting advice please!😊

Hi there, I’m a novice gardener and have had quite a few ‘hardy’ plants meet their demise in my garden so I’d like to avoid the same mistakes again. Please can you recommend nice, evergreen, ideally flowering plants to go at the back of our garden? It gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Photos attached. Would climbing roses work here? I love Camelias, red robins and hydrangeas if that helps get an idea of my taste. Many thanks inn advance. 


  • KiliKili Posts: 1,083
    Have a word with your neighbour. That tree is now just to large for the location and is putting your garden in the shade for a good part of the day by the look of it. The tree in your garden does not help either. 
    Also the soil under your tree does not look the healthiest . I would dig that over get some well rotted horse manure and compost dug into it and then try some hydrangeas, Hostas, ferns maybe which do well in shade for part or all of the day. I would put some climbers on the back fence as well , rambling rose maybe?
    Others on here are far more competent to advise on suitability of plants for your location so hopefully our resident gurus can advise.


    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645
    I would prioritise improving the soil as Kili says.  Forking it over will loosen it and add air.  Adding well-rotted manure and garden or ought in compost will improve both texture and fertility.   I would also advise widening it by as much again so that plants have room to grow.

    Once you've improved the soil you could plant a repeat flowering rambling that doesn't mind some shade.  See here for a selection -  It could be trained along unobtrusive tensioned wires attached to the fence with vine eyes at horizontal intervals of 12"/30cms.

    After that it's more a question of whether your soil is acid, neutral or alkaline as to what other shrubs will thrive and also do you want year round colour - can be stems as well as foliage; do you want perfume; flowers; texture in foliage???
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,955
    If the soil's dry because of those trees, you're better looking for plants which will suit dry shade, otherwise they will be struggling to stay hydrated. The border's not very wide [deep] either, and the more plants you put in, the more competition for nutrients and water there'll be. 
    Hydrangeas would struggle and so would Camellias. The oak leaf Hydrangea will take much drier conditions, so you might get away with it, but you'd need to enrich the soil and make sure it was well looked after till established. Camellias need loads of water at the end of summer when they form their buds for the following year. They don't like morning sun too much - just when they have new buds/flowers. If they get that after a frost, , the thawing out causes damage and they can drop. 
    Lots of ferns will be happy there. You might succeed with some of the alpina clematises. Many of them like a slightly drier footing. Take a look at Taylor's, Thorncroft or Hawthornes. You'll find something there - they all have loads to choose form. Any plant will still need help establishing.
    Another good site is Long Acre, who specialise in plants for shade. There are lots of things like Geraniums, Asters and Euphorbias which will fit the bill.  :)
    White plants, in particular, work very well in shade as they stand out   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks all for your advice. I will heed your advice.
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