Shrubs Under Trees

Can anyone suggest any shrubs that will grow in shade. We have recently cleared some old yews from an area about 6ft by 8ft. We've left a lovely fir tree in place which is about 20ft high 4/5ft spread - it's a beautiful tree. This has left a large space to fill which is shaded by the tree & unfortunately opened a gap between our neighbours. We would like to plant some shrubs for different seasons, birds & wildlife. Really the thorny & lollapy the better. The soil isn't that great due to the tree but we're hoping to get some manure & topsoil dug in. Bordering one side are some lilacs which we have reduced the height of but have kept because the butterflies adore them - they of course make more shade! 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,940
    Pyracantha has plenty of thorns and has plenty of flowers and berries for wildlife. The one next door to us attracted a lovely flock of waxwings the other year.  It’s tolerant of a reasonable amount of shade and copes with most soil types once it’s established. 
    The native Common Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna has similar virtues and makes a dense thorny barrier. 
    Both respond happily to cutting back/ clipping so you can keep it within its allotted space. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 1,671
    I have a very shaded area under Hawthorne trees, the soil is heavy clay so it's a double problem to get things to grow. The Cornus alba Westonbirt or dogwood, even though it's not thorny, loves the area and gives a deep red colour in the shade in winter. My Sorbaria Sorbifolia 'sem' is there to give colour /height in the year, it too has pink tinge to the new leaves. In front if these there are ferns and to one side nearer the light are hostas and iris. I'm sure others will have ideas for you for privacy plants.   😀
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 214
    Mahonia aquifolium is prickly, has lovely flowers followed by berries which the blackbirds love, it grows well in a shady part of my garden. 
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
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