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Best plants for shady area

We've recently moved house and have a shady patch of soil at the front of our property that I am keen to plant some late spring/summer flowers in. The neighbours tell us the soil is rubbish and nothing grows, with most of them resorting to grass instead but I want to give it a go. Any advice for best plants to grow at this time of year much appreciated from a novice (but keen!) gardener!


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,885
    What kind of soil is it? Sandy and dry? Clay? Boggy? Full of building rubble?  Any of those (and other things besides) could potentially be described as "rubbish".
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Clay based mainly. 
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Hostas might work, assuming it's not dry shade. Epimediums will work.
  • edited March 2019
    What types of plants do you like? The shady part of my garden is my favourite part because I love plants for their foliage more than their flowers.
    Silver leaved Brunner plants such as "Jack Frost" have really spectacular leaves and mine currently has lovely dainty blue flowers. As mentioned by another poster, hostas might work. You might also want to look into ferns and hellebores. If you’re looking for more of a shrub type plant, look at things like Skimmer, Viburnum, Mahonia. And finally some Acers are fine in shade.

    It really depends on the look you’re after and the size of the plot but please don’t give up on an area just because it’s shady, the world (or flower bed) really is your oyster and   with a bit of love and attention I promise you that it can be a fantastic spot in your garden.

    Maybe start by working out how much shade it really is in (all day, morning, afternoon, full shade or dappled) and whether its dry shade or damp shade and that might help you make some good decisions.

    And good luck!
  • edited March 2019
    I forgot to add that my Fatsia Japonica seems to love shade in my garden.
  • Great suggestions, thanks all. I'm off to the garden centre for a browse!
  • Have fun! Always love the chance of a blank canvas!
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,992
    @kellylavender. Have a look here for ideas,  may be something to attract you,
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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