Forum home Problem solving

Need a shrub or medium tall plant to provide dappled shade

I have an area in garden which endures very harsh sunlight in mid-summer afternoons (4-5 hours). I had a few delicate plants got sun scorched this summer. My garden is very narrow, so a big tree/shrub is no go as it would also shade the other side of the garden too much.

Can someone suggest something not too big or too tall but provide good dappled shade to the area?

Thanks.
«134

Posts

  • RubyRossRubyRoss Dublin, IrelandPosts: 94
    I have a similar issue. Interested to see what replies you get.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,153
    How much room do you have @rolanda.woo, and what else is around? 

    A pic would be grand if you can manage one  :)

    I find Genista [Broom] very useful though, as it isn't dense, like many shrubs can be. I have the white one which is a good foil for perennials. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,214
    edited October 2021
    What would be the optimum size to give you both the shade you need but without compromising the rest of the garden? - both height and spread.

    At the moment I'm thinking of a buddleia davidii. Mine are coppiced (pollarded?) to about 2 - 3' each spring but quickly make it to about 2m Ht x 1.5m w come July. They are currently about 2.5m high. One is in a bit of tight corner and I occasionally remove branches which are going where I don't want them (at any time of year)

    Buddleia tolerate heat and drought pretty well once established and the flowers have a delicate sweet scent. They are, of course, irresistible to butterflies.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • rolanda.woorolanda.woo Posts: 93
    edited October 2021
    Fairygirl said:
    How much room do you have @rolanda.woo, and what else is around? 

    A pic would be grand if you can manage one  :)

    I find Genista [Broom] very useful though, as it isn't dense, like many shrubs can be. I have the white one which is a good foil for perennials. 
    @Fairygirl, @Topbird , embarrassingly, I'm not sure about the size and etc. The land is still mostly bare. I've got some young plants to go in the ground to the area in the next week or so. They are mostly thriving in dappled shade sort of. The sun is so low at the moment, while that corner gets only 1 hours sun a day (would be even less when later in the year?) But in mid-summer, when the sun was high up, this area started getting exposed to the scorching sun from 2pm and didn't get a break until after 6pm. I had to dig out quite a few plants and moved them somewhere else. 

    If I give an inexperienced guess, anything taller than 2m would be too much for the other side of the garden. Width wise, I wouldn't want it to be more than 1 meter spread. But the structure really can't be too dense. Otherwise it would turn the area into a shady one completely...

    I have a banana plant...and started wondering if I shall plant it to the front of that area next spring... But I've got a feeling it would grow too high...
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,153
    The problem with bananas is that you need to wait until the temps are suitable for planting out, and then you'll have to get in behind your other plants to put it in. Not many people can leave them planted out in their gardens all year round.
    The area is full sun from what you're describing, but it also sounds as if the sun is mostly at the front of the border, rather than behind where the planting would be, so a large plant of any kind won't be any use. I'm guessing it's south west facing approximately. 
    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the site. Is this a bed with planting right round it, and you need something in the middle?
    If it's a standard border against a fence or similar, and the site is getting full sun for around 6 hours a day in summer [which it seems to be] then it's as I said - a large plant behind that won't make any great difference. What you'd need is planting which can cope with the heat, or a shrub/tree further away from the bed. Is that possible for you to do? 
    Can you do a photo @rolanda.woo ? It would just give us and idea of the size of the space if nothing else  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,633
    edited October 2021
    Photos would help, but I think if you're serious about creating dappled shade, a shrub 2m x 1m isn't really going to cut it. You probably need a large shrub/small tree with a light, open spreading canopy, with clear stems at the base so it isn't taking up much space at ground level.

    The shadow from a 2 x 1m shrub will move around like a sundial!
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 496
    A great choice here for you, specifically for small gardens.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/garden-inspiration/plants-we-love/10-flowering-trees-for-small-gardens
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,065
    It sounds as if the area you are talking about is west facing, if you are getting sun from 2pm.  I'm wondering about bamboos in large pots?  They would sway in the wind and give lovely dappled shade.
  • Spot on, everyone! You woke me up! Because of the position of the sun, a screening plant in the front wouldn't do enough, as the sunlight did come from across the other side once past 4pm. (It's a very narrow garden!).

    Loxley said:


    The shadow from a 2 x 1m shrub will move around like a sundial!
    Exactly!
    didyw said:
    It sounds as if the area you are talking about is west facing, if you are getting sun from 2pm.  I'm wondering about bamboos in large pots?  They would sway in the wind and give lovely dappled shade.
    I loved this idea. But after some rough research, I concluded it wouldn't get the right angle to provide shade one the sun moved towards the west... 

    I will probably have to go down the small tress route...

    Thank you, everyone... Got me covered each time!
  • rolanda.woorolanda.woo Posts: 93
    edited October 2021
    This is the garden. 

    The corner on the left with lots of small pots is the mentioned area. No sun whatsoever in the morning, whilst plenty of afternoon sun in the afternoon in summer. But nnly 1 hour sun at the moment.

Sign In or Register to comment.