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Plants for under a hedge

Reb_tReb_t Posts: 47
Hi All

We have a huge hedge to the side of our property which backs onto a field, it is a traditional hawthorn hedge with brambles and ivy in it, and the birds love it. 

The base is a bit scraggy so I would love to have some nice plants under it, but it is extremely dry under there.  I am sure there are some wild plants that would love to grow there, and am looking for some suggestions as to what I could plant.

Anything with flowers would be great to brighten it up, but not essential, something that the wildlife would love - bees, insects, birds etc.

thank you :)



  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    Sweet Rocket (Hesperis Matronalis), Red or white campion (Silene Dioica/Silene Latifolia), Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea), Foxgloves (digitalis purpurea), cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) are all wildlfowers which do well under our hedges which sounds similar in that they are very dry, with varying amounts of shade. 
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,101
    Honesty (Lunaria) too.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    Symphytum? (Comfrey) Primroses and violets.
    Bees love the comfrey, it is in quite a shady dry spot here under hawthorn.
    Cyclamen, the autumn ones hederifolium also do well here in a similar position.

    Some of the low growing geraniums, there are some native ones, but, some cultivated ones have very long flowering periods which is good for bees and the bees like them.
    Sorry if you only wanted native wild suggestions.
    Ones like Rozanne which is known for a long flowering period flowers in partial shade here and all summer long. And it will flop along and through other things, flowering all the way.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,402
    I have Herb robert everywhere - (Geranium robertianum) and it is so pretty at this time of year. It seeds itself about but is very easy to pull out if it is where you don't want it. There are always bees on it.
    G. phaeum is good too, though a bit taller. Mine originally came from a plant I found growing wild on a roadside verge and was really dark, almost black. Now, after years of cross pollination, I have it in shades of purple, blue and white and it is really useful for dry, shady spots.
    Helleborus foetidus is a native and gives very early flowers for the bees. It doesn't mind dry or shade and will self-seed too, though mine seems to prefer the old lime mortar in the paving cracks for that!
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    We have comfrey along our hedges...great for wildlife and supplies us with our liquid feed too.
  • Reb_tReb_t Posts: 47
    Wow thanks for all of your suggestions, that’s really helpful! I will certainly look into getting some of those, a trip to the garden centre tomorrow is definitely on the cards.
    I feel like I ought to do a before and after photo and post it here 😊
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