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Woodland border, plants to keep it going in summer?

NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
I have a sort of woodland edge border, under the dappled shade of large evergreen oaks lining my drive, with hellebores, muscari, aquilegias etc. So far it’s a purple and white theme. It looks lovely in spring but a bedraggled empty mess in summer. Are there any summer flowering plants I could slot in that would suit a semi-shade woodlandy area? Any suggestions gratefully received!
Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,427
    Actaea rubra flowers fairly early but has decorative red berries for weeks during summer. Cyclamen hederifolium for now. I've got a of of shade, Japanese Anemones do OK most years but have suffered in the drought this year. Some of the Digitalis species flower later than purpurea, D lutea is reliable and D. grandiflora, both perennial.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I've become a bit of a heuchera fan over the last few years as they come in so many colours now you can find one to fit almost any theme, have leaves year-round and the bees love the flowers which can last for months.  Most of them seem to enjoy being quite shaded.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,146
    For late summer/autumn colour what about Cimicifuga , Aconitum and herbaceous Clematis .
    My Clem.heracleifolia is a full glorious blue at the moment ; all these grow well in moist soil and dappled shade .
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    edited September 2018
    I second cyclamen hederifolium, the white and lilacs are lovely. A Roxanne hardy geranium, which self seeds and spreads well between other plants even in shade, would look lovely too.
    Without knowing how long this border you have is though, I'm not sure what else to suggest.
    I have some very fleshy, foot high or so sedums that flower in almost total shade at the moment.
  • I love heuchera too Bob, but the slugs always get mine, sadly...
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I like astrantia. Geraniums do well in dappled shade, too.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,983
    My Silver Bear foxgloves are still going strong. Alcoholic Mollies?

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,081
    edited September 2018
    My anenome 'wild swan' is a picture at the moment. They can be tricksy I think, but in dappled shade on clay, mine's been doing it's own thing for a few years now with no trouble at all. Not a very good photo because the sun is on it this morning (it's in shade most of the day but gets the sun for an hour or two first thing), but you can see it's blooming profusely. They are such pretty flowers - white with alternate lilac and white backs.

    Just to add - beware Rozanne. This is one plant. Insane thing

    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 658
    If it's fairly dry shade, Geranium nodosum should do well and it seeds itself all over.
    East Anglia
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Some great ideas there, thank you very much one and all, some I have not heard of so will get googling. I have a few anemones and cyclamen mixed in there already but they are over by June, yes it’s dry shade and the temps can get quite high even under the oaks.

    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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