Forum home Problem solving

Very damp shady border

Good morning everyone.  I have a border measuring a metre wide by 4.5 metres long.  It gets no sun at all and the soil is constantly damp but not clay.  I’ve got a few foxgloves and alchemilla mollis which are happy there, but can anyone suggest anything else I can plant there?  Obviously because it’s so dark and damp, it’s a haven for slugs so although I love them, I’ve never had much success with hostas!!   I think ferns would do well but I was thinking of something white to brighten the area.   Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Many thanks in advance.

«1

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,175
    edited May 2020
    Lots of whites which will be suitable  - Polygonatum [Solomon's Seal] , Astilbes, Acteas, the white Dicentra is brilliant, and Polemonium [Jacob's Ladder ] and white Jap. Anemones too. Variegated plants like Euonymous will also grow well in damp conditions. Don't forget snowdrops for spring, and London Pride - Saxifraga urbium is great for a froth of little flowers at this time of year. It'll grow with no sun at all. 
    My current favourite thing is Camassia. I added some of the semi plena ones for this year. They multiply too. Peter Nyssen sells them, as well as other bulbs sellers.  :)

    I took a pic yesterday of mine, so I'll see if I can sort one  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AllyblueeyesAllyblueeyes Posts: 387
    Thank you @Fairygirl.  I was going to go for camassias for next spring.  Solomon’s seal and Jacobs ladder sound good.  Are both of those happy in damp soil? 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,175
    Absolutely  :)

    I have Heucheras and Hellebores in among them too 





    The other thing I have is lots of white crocus and lily of the valley, which you can't see just now. These borders only get a little sun in the morning, and a little bit overhead at this time of year, but we normally wouldn't have such sunny weather! I've grown all of those in even shadier positions, apart from the Camassias. They're really lovely, but quite messy. I have a white dicentra beside both clumps. I also  have a Viburnum a bit further along which has just finished. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AllyblueeyesAllyblueeyes Posts: 387
    You’ve given me lots of ideas @Fairygirl .... thank you.  I love Viburnums but are they happy in damp shade?  When you say the camassias are messy, do you mean the foliage?  I think the fern and dicentra in the third picture look lovely.  I’m venturing out to a garden centre this morning for the first time since March 😱 so I’ll see what I can find.  Thanks again for your help .... and it really was helpful ☺️
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,175
    edited May 2020
    They're quite tall, and the foliage is strappy, and there's quite a lot of it, so it gets a bit dishevelled, if you know what I mean. I have enough stuff planted round them to hide it though.
    I've just remembered I also have a white weigela in there, which is about to have some flowers.  :)
    The viburnum is just to the right of the planting in that last pic, and gets very little sun apart from first thing in the morning. It's burkwoodii, and I think I bought it because it would suit my conditions, and also because it's more or less evergreen. It's a corner at the junction of the side of my house, and it gives some privacy there.  :)

    Just had another thought [always dangerous!] - lots of white clematis which are happy in shade too, so if you have a suitable spot you could look at those. Taylor's clematis, Thorncroft and Hawthornes will all have plenty of choices  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AllyblueeyesAllyblueeyes Posts: 387
    Thank you @Fairygirl.  I’ve gone from being nervous to feeling excited about the garden centre now! 😀
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,175
    Hope you can see something you like  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,125
    I have a border like this, with some of the things Fairygirl has mentioned -  Astilbes self seed and spread like mad! - but also Tellima  grandiflora (another spreader) and the sensitive fern Onoclea sensibilis. This last is very pretty, new growth is surprisingly pink, then changing to green and unlike most of my ferns, it mainly runs, rather than growing from spores. I shall have to move some of it, as it has overspread one of my little pathsways making it hard to move around.
    I have been looking for ways to support nurseries during lockdown ;) and have decided to add some Tiarellas to the mix, as they should be happy too..
    If you want something a bit different you could try Lysichiton camtschatcensis, the white skunk cabbage. I have the yellow one (bought many years ago!) and it is glorious in spring and loves the conditions in my  boggy dell,  on the other side of the path by the border. I have to remove the flowers before it sets seed, but the white one is considered less invasive. The downside of 'right plant, right place' does seem to be dealing with a degree of overenthusiasm!


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,175
    I have a very nice Tiarella @Buttercupdays - 'cygnet'. It's excellent, and even takes a fair bit of sun if it's feet are happy. I've got a clump which is just going over, but still lots of new buds forming. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,125
    My Dell is still very much a work in progress, but I've got a bit more done this year, because it is actually possible to walk in it! Last year was so wet here that doing anything useful was almost impossible and then only in wellies. If I can do a bit more tidying, it could well become a favourite spot :)
Sign In or Register to comment.