Forum home Garden design

Start to my shady flower bed

I got some very good and kind advice from you all, for starting to fill my shady side. Here is my effort so far (mainly fern and heuchera) Please point out any glaring errors so I can dig them up tomorrow! I would like a hedge type plant on the side fence, and not sure about the back fence next to holly, none of it gets much direct sun. That's a buddleia at the bottom.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Do you mean hedge type plant on the left fence? If so, it's just too narrow for that type of planting.

    Depending on whether it gets some sun in summer, you could look into growing something that scrambles and covers the fence. If you have neutral to acidic soil, with a bit of sun in summer, take a look at something like Tropaeolum Speciosum. Can easily be controlled and dies back every year. Can act as a light ground cover and train up the fence. 

    With almost no sun, Euonymus Fortunei can be a nice shrub that is evergreen and can be allowed to scramble/climb the fence.

    In terms of planting style, I would group the Heucheras into a more diamond shape instead of a line near the front. It will give the border a more fluid feel contrasting against the border's edge. 

    Look into plants like Epimediums, Thalictrums and Aquilegias. They offer leaf contrast when not in flower, so extends interest.
  • LTobyLToby Posts: 224
    if you like colours against the white wall, consider planting various and in group of colourful 'coleus' they have beautiful foliage, and will grow as a bush from Spring to early Autumn, but they will die when cooler weather will roll in. 

    Try Rubella Skimia near the brown fence as a growing bush, it will grow slowly or robustly depending on your soil. It likes shade and is an evergreen, it will bear white flowers but start as a reddish ones that will open into white (these are based on my experiences with the variety that i have in my garden). A great one to plant with euonymous fortunei. 

    An evergreen grass 'Carex evergold' is also another beautiful plant for the front of the border because of its goldish blades. You can alternate this with 'Carex Ice Dance Marrowii' also an evergreen grass. Ice dance has a green and cream-edge blade foliage.  Both are lovely plants for shades and borders. Ice dance is more agressive to grow but you can control it by removing runners.  I plant these infront of the heucheras that will contrast of their colours and foliage. 

    Cheers and happy gardening ...
    Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,033
    I think the problem is the size and shape of the border. That narrow section will only take something like a clematis which likes a drier spot, because it's close to the fence. It would stop the fence being so dominant, but it would be better to open out that part to give more scope.
    Some of the plants suggested on your original thread would help avoid everything just being just two heights. Foxgloves, Polemonium, Campanulas, and the Thalictrum and Aquilegias @Borderline has suggested would be ideal. Japanese anemones for later in the year.  Verticals are what's needed.
    Bulbs will help too - many daffs are happy in shady spots, and give some contrast in height. Camassias if there's room, and the ground stays moist enough. Bluebells too. 

    Osmanthus burkwoodii  is also ideal as a shrub for the back. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,418
    If you can,  l would dig out that really narrow bit and make it the same width, or at least very nearly. I know you are trying to add interest with the curve,  but it will give you more of a planting choice and more room for the plant (s) to establish. The plant suggestions above are all good.
    Welcome to the fun of gardening  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,033
    That's exactly what I'd do @AnniD. It's a very odd shape  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for the suggestions everyone. There are other reasons for the "odd" shape.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,418
    Fair enough  :)
Sign In or Register to comment.