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Perennials in the shade

Can anyone recommend compact perennials that will flower in a north-west shade border?

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  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,102
    edited January 2022
    Japanese anemones do well but be careful which one you get. some find them invasive. I haven't, though. 
    Oops. Just noticed compact. They're not.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Thank you, I do have a couple of these and as they're rather tall they are at the back.  They do flower OK though.  I need something towards the front of the border, not too tall or invasive really.  My penstemons refuse to flower though, so they will have to be moved.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,760
    Hardy geraniums (Cranesbills) - not Pelargoniums!  Lots to choose from, many long flowering and easy to multiply by division.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,461
    I like Hostas and Brunneras for the shape and colour of their leaves, but they flower too. There are several perennial geraniums that do well in shade.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • AthelasAthelas CambridgeshirePosts: 690
    edited January 2022
    B3 said:
    Japanese anemones do well but be careful which one you get. some find them invasive. I haven't, though. 
    Oops. Just noticed compact. They're not.
    I've got a couple of compact ones in north west shade, they seem tame so far:
    • 'Fantasy Jasmine' (also have a look at 'Fantasy Cinderella')
    • 'Pink Kiss' — shorter than the Fantasy series 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    edited January 2022
    There's loads depending on how big an area you're talking about. It'll also depend on your soil/climate etc   :)
    Pachysandra, Heucheras, Hellebores, prostrate Gaultherias, Ajuga, Epimediums, Campanulas,  Iberis [perennial candytuft]  Liatris, Pasqueflowers, and many Saxifrages - urbium for example, as well as the ones already mentioned. 
    Loads of bulbs  are happy in shade too, and are good interspersed with the perennials.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,978
    As said, lots of geraniums would be happy, I would try Geranium 'Anne Thompson', especially if you like perennials with a long flowering period. Eurybia divaricata and Eurybia x herveyi are really good compact 'asters', they start a bit earlier than most asters and go on and on. No mildew, shade tolerant and modest in size.
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,599
    I have Lythrum salicaria 'Blush' in a North facing border which bloomed reliably for a second year last year.  Also Campanula lactiflora 'Loddon Anna', digitalis grandiflora and digitalis mertonensis.  And I have Brunnera macrophylla Betty Bowring there too (though the leaves do get very big). 
    In another N-E facing corner I have Persicaria Red Dragon (for its foliage rather than flowers).  None of these are evergreen.
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