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Shrub and wall cover for north facing border

Can anyone suggest suitable small shrub and/ or wallcover for north facing border please? Deep shade. On left of picture is a white buddlea, and far right is a hydrangea serrata 'Miranda' , then further right I have a laurel. I planted a honeysuckle I was given up against the wall, but totally wrong spot so it's coming out.  I am aiming for a pastel/ white coloured scheme.  The photo was taken in April, but looks the same now, except more weed!


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,410
    The shrub Potentilla "Abbotswhite" could fit that spot. it looks like it gets some sunshine, although you mentioned deep shade. Rose "White Carpet" might also survive. I'm sure the othes will have more suggestions.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' is deciduous, but has beautiful lime coloured flowers which are ideal for a shady area . It grows to about 6'. Osmanthus  x bukwoodii is evergreen with fragrant, white Spring/ early summer flowers, it's height can be restricted by careful pruning. For ground cover in that area, Pachysandra is evergreen with white flowers and easy to grow. Euonymus fortunei 'Silver Queen' will screen your wall eventually as well as give ground cover protection. In the early part of the year it would be  a good area for some Snowdrops and a little later the Narcissus triandus 'Thalia'- sparkling white which seems to shine in the shadows. 
    Hope you get further suggestions too.
    Happy planting. :)

    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,596
    An evergreen clematis might do okay there, for early or winter colour They have finer roots than group 2 clematis, seem to do better with dry walls and foundations, as do alpina/macropetala types.
    Clematis Early Sensation. an evergreen forsterii type against a North wall in our garden. Flowers around  April, May.  Very floriferous and scented. Sorry it is a bit fuzzy very old photo.
    When you said you got rid of the honey suckle it reminded me.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Some very good suggestions already. To be honest, your wall doesn't look all that high. Provided there are no trees casting shade in the summer months, there are plenty of plants that should do well there. Not sure what happened to your Honeysuckle.

    Take a look at shrubs like Choisya Ternata and Sarcococca Hookeriana Var Digyna, fragrant flowers and everygreen, easy to prune and control. Cotoneaster Horizontalis can also be trained up the walls or as ground cover. Without knowing your soil type, the below are known to do well in a wide range of conditions and should do well as ground cover. Lamium Maculatum White Nancy, Alchemilla Mollis, Geranium Phaeum & Geranium Oxonianum Wargrave Pink.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,449
    White-flowered foxgloves would look nice there, to give some vertical spikes between rounded shrubs or groundcover. They're (more-or-less) biennial but self-sow if they're happy.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    I'd agree with both Potentilla and Osmanthus burkwoodii - they will be ideal for that aspect. The evergreens such as the  Euonymous mentioned, as well as the Osmanthus of course,  will give all year round colour and interest too and are very straightforward. Ferns like Asplenium [evergreen ] will be fine and provide contrast in foliage and height.  I have the prostrate Gaultheria [evergreen] which provides a good understorey for the front of the border, and has flowers, berries and red foliage in autumn.
    Having bulbs under anything deciduous, or amongst smaller shrubs, is always a good idea to extend the season - many spring bulbs will be more than happy, from snowdrops and crocus, to narcissus, muscari and wood anemones. There are loads of lower grwoing plants for the front of the border, as many have suggested.
    As your wall isn't very high, be prepared to tie any climbers in horizontally on a sturdy framework of trellis or wires, to get the best from them. Make sure you can access them for pruning etc, although I'd also opt for either an evergreen as suggested, or something like  a Group 2 clematis, which requires minimal pruning.  
    North facing shade needn't be an issue  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Many thanks for all the ideas-I'm working my way through them!  The wall is only about 3' at highest, and the border about 3' deep. The back half is permanently shaded.  We are on sandy soil, in Cumbria, so need hardy planting.  Once I have wall cover and structure sorted, there seems to be quite a lot of suitable perennials and bulbs I can add.  
    So far I'm thinking a Sarococca Hookeriana var Dygnia -'Purple Stem' - thank you Borderline, to go in next to the white Buddleia on left, and Eleagnus silver queen against the wall to its right.  I already have the latter planted on the other side of this wall, which is a Rose bed in full sun, so they could meet at the top of the wall!  White foxgloves and bulbs would really light it up too.
    Any other thoughts gratefully received-am off work with bronchitis at moment, so have never before had all this time for garden planning!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Keep it simple would be my best advice. A few larger specimens, and some suitable underplanting to give seasonal interest.
    It's easy to make small borders too fussy,by filling them with lots of small plants. Fewer plants with a toning colour theme always works best.  :)
    Have fun planning and choosing  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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