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Best shrubs and plants for a shaded garden

Please may I ask for suggestions for the best shrubs and plants for a shaded garden.

Thank you kindly in advance. 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    If you know a bit more about your soil, it will help others to give you more ideas for plants. Also, what type of shade do you have? Nearby buildings casting shade or trees over hanging leaving it slightly shaded or completely shaded in summer. All this helps to narrow down the list.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051
    HOSTAS !!!!
  • AWBAWB Posts: 421
    Think about the orientation ,where does the sun rise and set,will there be any seating.
    daphne and sarocca for scent.
    helebores and snowdrops for spring interest.Lillirope Muscari .

  • Damp shade or dry shade? ... the plants that enjoy the different conditions are very different. 

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

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    How big a space? Some shrubs will fill a border quickly  :)

    There are loads though - Dicentra [can't remember it's new name] Polygonatum [solomon's seal] Polemonium [jacob's ladder] Acteas,  Mahonia, Berberis, Osmanthus, Viburnum, Potentilla, Hydrangea, Ferns will all take a lot of shade to semi shade, and will like damper ground. 
    Lots of bulbs and ground cover too - from snowdrops and Lily of the Valley, to vinca, Pachysandra, Hellebore, Brunnera, Alchemilla, hardy Geraniums and many more. 

    @Dovefromabove is right though - dry shade is different to damp shade, so it's important to have that info. I don't really have much of that   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • jblade49jblade49 Posts: 3
    edited November 2019
    Damp shade or dry shade? ... the plants that enjoy the different conditions are very different. 

    Dovefromabove apologies I have attached a picture with more info about soil etc. Sorry about that
  • jblade49 said:

    This is a picture of our garden, the soil type is clay and is shaded 90% of the time due to the tree's. Also it's quite boggy too, down the end of the garden the grass is dying off and is extremely boggy. First time gardener looking for any tips and help please! Thank you so much in advance  🙂
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,138
    I think those beds are too narrow to grow any srhub well so my first tip would be to widen those beds to at least double or triple the current size and then work in plenty of well-rotted garden or bought compost and manure and some grit to open up the soil.   In our last garden we had a bed that was in the lowest spot fo the garden up against the house and north facing so very little direct sun and all the run-off from the rest of the garden headed that way.  We dug a small ditch to go round 2 sides and thet would fill with water and thus help drain the bed and the grass.

    You could try planting a silver birch at the end as that would soak up lots of water and give you dappled shade below.  Not good if you get hay fever tho as the pollen can cause problems.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Looking at the trees in your photo, if it's taken at this time of year, it's quite bright. There are many plants that do well in these conditions. You have a great list from others already. Weigela, Viburnum Opulus and Dogwood shrubs do well in these conditions. The more shrubs you grow the better it will be for the surrounding soil. They will suck up the water from the soil as they mature. Thalictrums, Astilbes, Bergenias and Violas all should do fine too.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    I forgot about those @Borderline ;)
    I have Weigela and Astilbes, Bergenias and Thalictrum - all in shady spots. 
    I think another idea would be something like a clematis montana right down at the far end and trained along that fence. In fact - you could have one along each fence. It would just be a case of having some good support along the fences and tieing in carefully as they grow. 
    You could probably take another strip of grass away, along that short back section and make another bed at the front whch would take lots of low growing planting like Heucheras and bulbs, and the aforementioned Hellebores or Bergenia.They would give all year round colour and interest.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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