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Shady flower bed

Hello, I am looking for suggestions for this shaded flowerbed. There is now a holly in the top left corner that gets a small amount of sun. There is also a buddleia in the bottom left corner.
It is approx 2m X 5m and very shaded. Looking for shrubs/evergreen suggestions. Thank you for ant advice.


  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 1,516
    Cant go wrong with a Sarcoccoa or 2. Evergreen and scented winter flowers. 
    Osmanthus is also evergreen.
    Heuchera come in lovely leaf colours to fill in while shrubs are expanding.
    It might be better to have several of the same variety shrub rather than lots of different ones but that's advice I don't follow-!
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,126
    There are some lovely Evergreen ferns (Cyrtomium fortuneii, Dryopteris erythrosora), Carex oshimensis Everillo is a beautiful evergreen sedge.  Pachysandra terminalis, good for ground cover (and Vinca too).  Hakonechloa is not evergreen, but it's a grass which does well in shade.  Astelia's have lovely architectural foliage, and are evergreen.  
  • Desi_in_LondonDesi_in_London LondonPosts: 199
    Could I ask if Sarcococca ( I might have spelt that wrong) is as susceptible to the box tree caterpillar/moth damage as  buxus sempervirens ? In London my buxus parterre ( less grand than it sounds , essentially just edging a bed on 3 sides of an otherwise paved small back courtyard)  was pretty much irrecoverably decimated in all of two weeks last year .
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,376
    edited November 2020
    Different plant entirely @Desi_in_London, so no need to worry  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Desi_in_LondonDesi_in_London LondonPosts: 199
    Thank you @Fairygirl -- good to know , sounds like i've unnecessarily been afraid of anything else from the same family !
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • As well as the suggestions above, Ajuga reptans is also a good shady ground cover - easily reduced if it gets a bit too keen.  Solomons seal ( can't recall the proper name offhand ) is also nice as is Fritillaria.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,376
    I think the confusion arises because Sarcococca gets called Sweet Box @Desi_in_London :)
    There isn't going to be a lot of room in those beds once the holly matures, and the buddliea will also fill a large space. Good suggestions already , but Astelias aren't hardy in a lot of areas so it depends where you are if you want that. 
    Polygonatum @philippasmith2 - unless they've changed it's name recently ;)
    Not to be confused with Polemonium [Jacob' Ladder]  which would also be fine. Neither are evergreen though.
    Hellebores would do well, and so would the prostrate Gaultheria. The niger Hellebores start around now, and the other types are later, winter going into spring, and native Primulas are a must.  :)

    Convallaria [lily of the valley] many Daffs, Muscari  and Snowdrops would all be useful too, and would provide colour in late winter/early spring. It's important to have a succession of flowers/colours in an evergreen bed.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • @Fairygirl.......... yes - Polygonatum.  I had a parrot for well over 40 years so you'd have thought I'd remember that one if nothing else  :D  
  • WildFlower85WildFlower85 Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 124
    I have too been thinking about my shady front garden area, so if you don't mind I'd like to share some of my ideas (which I've been scrutinising over!) to see what others think, in case it's also useful to the OP @clairelrigby:

    Area which is part-shade to shade in pots/containers:
    • Fern ‘Polypodium Vulgare’ (evergreen)
    • Luzula Nivea (evergreen)
    • Cyclamen Coum (spring flowering)
    • Hepatica acutiloba (spring flowering)
    • Geranium phaeum ‘Album’ (summer flowering)
    • Campanula poscharskyana (summer flowering)

     Area in full shade in the ground (shadow of house, no canopy as such):

    • Luzula Nivea (evergreen)
    • Snowdrops (spring flowering)
    • Cyclamen Coum (spring flowering)
    • Geranium phaeum ‘Album’ (summer flowering)
    • Geranium himalayense ‘Gravetye’ (summer flowering)
    • Liriope muscari (autumn flowering)
    As you can see I've tried to repeat plants and keep to a basic colour palette (green, white and purple), as well as have some colour all year round.

    Does the GW hive mind think this will work?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,376
    That campanula can be very invasive, so just be aware of that.
    The snowdrops will grow in both areas. 
    Hepaticas are quite tricky so just be aware of that. It's really too wet here to grow them easily, so make sure you have appropriate conditions. They're beautiful plants but need sun and good drainage when they're flowering, and then cool conditions in summer.
    There's a very good nursery up here which stocks them - Edrom Nursery.  :) 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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