Forum home Plants

For North facing, heavy shade, on clay..... ? nightmare

KitMillerKitMiller Posts: 42
Hello, I need to pick brains again please! i feel I should be paying for this service....I've done some googling but I think its experience that helps and I dont know any knowledgeable gardeners to ask.....
I have a north facing wall in permanent shade and heavy clay soil. It gets no  direct sunlight.
Are there any shrubs I could put in that will survive and also maybe help to dry out some of the boggy lawn? I don't want to improve the soil in that area of the garden as have done this in other areas and don't want to spend any more of the budget on soil - but just work with what I have in this spot. 
Someone suggested Garrya Elliptica, I was wondering about maybe pyracantha? And then there are ferns. 
Many thanks


  • Julia1983Julia1983 Posts: 139
    I've got a mahonia growing in pretty much the situation you desribe. A damp loving fern would prob be ok, osmunda regalis?  Not evergreen though. My neighbour had a pyracantha growing well on their wall in the same position as my mahonia till they made over the garden. You could train it up the wall too? 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Mahonia, Berberis, Euonymous, Potentilla, Eleagnus, Laurel, Hydrangeas, Spireas, Osmanthus.
    I have, or have had in the past, all of those in north facing sites. I also have clay, but you would still need to make sure the shrubs have a decent start when planted.
    If it's absolutely saturated ground, you'd need to add some grit and compost on planting to help them, or wait until the site's a bit drier to get them going. Don't plant small specimens at this time of year and expect them to thrive. You need to give them  a chance. Ideally, plant decent sized, sturdy shrubs. 
    Other good plants for that kind of site are Acteas, which form big stands of foliage with lovely flower spires later in the year.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KitMillerKitMiller Posts: 42
    That's brilliant! - thank you to everyone.  I will dig in some fertiliser / compost when I put them in and try and get some reasonable sized ones. Thank you so much!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I meant to add, Barbara - pyracantha will grow in shade too, although it's best in some sun, but I think it would depend on how well you could prep the ground initially.
    I add one at the side of the front door in a previous house, and it got no sun whatsoever.
    It probably had less moisture there than other parts of the garden though, because of the shelter of the house, so you would have to decide whether it was worthwhile giving it a go.
    The blackbirds used to sit on the front steps eating the berries in winter  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Sign In or Register to comment.