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Plants for full sun dry bank which also like moister partial shade?

Cath12Cath12 Posts: 3
Hi all

Trying to unify oddly shaped garden with repeat planting in two large borders - one of which is a dry bank mostly in full sun until the late afternoon, the other is moister and shaded by trees for a large part of the day.  

The previous owners planted them them up with completely different plants which doesn’t work for me, so I’d like to use something to unite them.  Any suggestions gratefully received as I’m going slightly mad!

Thank you


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,651
    edited May 2019
    There are lots of plants that like 'full sun or partial shade' - most traditional cottage garden border plants like lupins, penstemon, foxgloves, some of the asters. They will probably grow in both locations if you help them in the one they like less - so extra drainage in the damp bit for the sun lovers, extra watering for the shade lovers in the sunny bit.

    Or you could chose a plant type that has lots of cultivars which have similar characteristics but like a broader range of habitats - euphorbia springs to mind. You'll get a similar colour and flower type in a huge range of different situations.

    Or chose a very specific colour - tangerine orange, say - and find different plants with the same colour to repeat along the borders. 

    Or chose a plant shape and colour to repeat, blue spires or white umbells or red daisies.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    When you say completely different plants, and want to unite them, do you mean you don't like the plant combinations they had in there, or do you mean you want the dry sunny bank to merge naturally with the moist semi shaded bank. Helps to know what you like and dislike.
  • Cath12Cath12 Posts: 3
    Thanks raisingirl some great ideas there which I hadn’t considered.  Hi Borderline it’s a sort of ‘things plopped about randomly’ garden, i.e. one ancient red rose here, there a straggly yew.  Not much growing on the dry bank at all except some patchy grass!  Lots of viburnums on the shadier side which I think all has viburnum beetle.  I would like to go much more wildlife friendly with the planting, and would ideally like to find the same or similar plants for the two kinds of border, at the moment it look like two completely different gardens.  In my head it’s a probably a cottage garden, colourwise I like green, white, pink, blue etc.  Grasses, rosemary, lavender, lots of wildlife attracting annuals.  
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    I think it was Monty who said that you can grow any plant anywhere, but he didn't add how hard you would have to work to do so. Plants evolve to fill different spaces and growing them in the 'wrong' conditions can be very hard on you and them. If your bank is already bare and scrubby, it will need a lot of work to persuade moisture lovers to grow.

    On the other hand, you COULD have a gorgeous range of plants, united perhaps by colour, shape, texture, but making the garden much more interesting AND offering a greater range to the wildlife you wish to attract!

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Thanks for explaining. There are plenty of plants for your borders, so these are just my recommendations. Plants that can do well in both types of locations and could be used as a repeat plant to tie in two areas are Alchemilla Mollis, Bergenia, Polemonium Caeruleum and some geraniums like Oxonianum. 

    On the damper shadier bank, take a look at Astrantias, Thalictrums, Epimediums, Hucheras, Violas and Campanulas.

    On the sunnier side, Anthemis Tinctoria, Nepetas, Lavenders, Erigeron Karvinskianus, ground cover Campanulas, Rosemary, Sedums, Centrantus Ruber & Lecoqii. 
  • Cath12Cath12 Posts: 3
    Oh brilliant, thank you so much that’s very kind of you.  I didn’t want to go buying things that would struggle as Posy commented above, it’s been frustrating enough removing all the rubbish left here!  Some of those I’m not familiar with so am off to have an afternoon’s contented googling and list-making.  Very much appreciate your taking the time to help.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896
    Last week or the week before Monty was planting white umbellifers in his Writing Garden 
    He explained how he chose similar looking but different plants for the shadier areas ... it’s a tip I’m going to ty. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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