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Ideas for planting around a small tree


I'm wondering if anybody could help with advice on what to plant under a small tree we have in the front garden? The garden is north facing, and there is a fence to the west which also blocks a lot of sun so it's quite a shady spot.
The tree has a delicate white blossom in the spring and good leaf colour in the autumn. I was thinking maybe some vinca major variegata to give flower colour over the summer and leaf interest through winter. Although concerned about the invasiveness, but given the small plot would this be a problem? I don't have a lot of free time so would prefer something low maintenance!

Maybe some hellebores too for winter flowers? 

I'm quite new to gardening so any advice would be much appreciated!

Many thanks 😊


  • Super shaped Prunus...a cherry.
    Personally I would just underplant with dwarf bulbs...maybe snowdrops.

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,800
    Cyclamen hederafolium and Cyclamen coum (white or pink) for autumn and winter, and some  Chionodoxa liliacae aka Glory of the Snow for spring. 

    Plant some Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’ for flowers and attractive foliage through late spring and summer and you’ve got the whole year covered. 

    If you like you could add just a few bulbs of Narcissus ‘Minnow’ to add a spring colour boost to look forward to as well. 

    They’ll all naturalise and need very little looking after and will look so pretty. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 7,953
    I think Vinca major would be a bit of a menace... @Silver surfer's and @Dovefromabove 's suggestions are lovely and you wouldn't have to be chopping bits off all the time!
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,757
    Pachysandra, although the flowers are tiny and white.  Opheopogon nigrescens if you want something dramatic.  We had a carpet of Arabis surrounding our Walnut tree, it looked great, but again the flowers are small and white.

    Ajuga is a thug too.  
  • Great ideas, thank you everyone! 😊
    My father in law has said he'll give me some crocosmia, so will see if I can find an evergreen to go well with it for year round interest.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,234
    Vinca minor might be OK, if you like how it looks. It's lower growing than major and I find it easier to control. You can cut back shoots that extend over the edging. There are variegated forms.  But  in time it could fill out the whole bed so anything else you put in with it would need to be equally vigorous.

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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