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shade loving wild flowers

I have a clearing about 15sqm at the back of my garden surrounded by trees and bushes. Years ago I grew veg there but now it's become to shady.  If left to it's own devices all that grows is bramble. I've cleared the brambles and in its place  I'd like to grow a variety wild flowers to attract insects/birds but the packets of seeds that I've looked at require a sunny position.  I'd appreciate any suggestions..


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    Think of flowers that grow in woodland....foxgloves for a start will be ideal in shady patches.   Hellebores will grow there and also aquilegias tolerate shade in my garden.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,850
    edited November 2018
    those packets of wildflowers with bright colours are sun lovers but there are plenty for shade. Primroses, some of the Geraniums, Campanula trachelium, Red Campion, Bluebells (make sure you get the English ones). 
    Plus Snowdrops and Aconites
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    Evening primroses are nice and positively glow when they open in the evenings. Silver Y moths love them. Although they open in the evening, bees still get in them and cover themselves in the pollen, as they are often still open early mornings too.
    Also a biennial called Moth mullein ( Verbascum ) come easily from seed and self seed once up and running. Tall spires of white with a purple centre.

    Both of those depending on your soil ( we have clay) are easy, and also if you get a lot and they like you, both are easy to weed out unwanted ones.
    Do you want only seed to sow or will you be happy buying bulbs and corms?

    Lunaria and Linaria.
    The big purple linaria grows in part shade here.

    Autumn and spring cyclamen are good for under trees and hedges. Though I think coum ( spring) is not quite as easy as the autumn (hederifolium).
    Don't mix them, the coum can get swamped by the hederifolium.
    They do take a couple of years from seed. But once you have a couple they will seed around themselves.

    Some geraniums are woodlanders,  phaeum and sylvaticum will do shade.

    Try some clematis in your hedge and trees too.
    There are so many different ones even winter flowering, that will take some shade.

    Bulbs like snowdrops, bluebells and wood anemones.

  • ju1i3ju1i3 Camden Town, LondonPosts: 189
    iris foetidissima
  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364
    Primroses. and Cowslips.  I have now got some wood anemonies growing but they have  taken their time.  There will always be Foxgloves. 

    I am worried about last winters plantings of Helebores  The heat might have got them. 

     (pagoda is lovely>)  and takes shade.  Erythronium can come in different colours.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

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