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Bulbs for shade?

Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 211
Hi - I have a relatively narrow border between lawn and path (about 40cm wide).  It's North facing and only gets a few minutes sun each day through a teeny gap between trees so I think of it as deep shade.  The ground never dries out completely but is free draining and not waterlogged.  I'm planting it with Hosta this year but would really love some bulbs which would do ok in amongst them.  I have Asarum Europaeum already in place for a bit of ground cover (it's very happy) and some native bluebells (also very happy) but would welcome any other suggestions.  I was thinking bulbs because height is better than spread in this bed, but happy to hear ideas!  Thanks :)


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171
    Snowdrops will be ideal, and also aconites, and they'd be flowering at this time of year [approx] and will be dying back while your Hostas start growing away. 
    Many daffs are quite happy with shade - I have some in a north-ish facing bed, and you could have several varieties to give a succession. Some might benefit from some support, due to the aspect, although the hostas will help with later ones. 
    Crocus for early on too. I have them in shade.
    Hellebores and primulas will grow there.

    Another consideration is Pulsatillas [pasqueflowers] which flower in spring - around Easter, which is where they get their common name. I have quite a few and they're very happy with a fair bit of shade. Purples/dark reds and whites, and they have lovely seedheads. Worth a look  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,011
    Anemone blanda (Winter windflower) will go very well with your bluebells, they are available in blue, purple or white.  A really cheerful addition to a shady border!  That Pasque flower looks lovely too @Fairygirl !
  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 211
    Thanks both - Fairygirl, those Pasque flowers are super pretty and new to me, so thanks for that and Plantminded, I'd forgotten about Anemone's so thanks for the reminder!  Also, it lets me indulge a really terrible pun...I can have Anenomes At The Gate :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171
    That's a shocker @Tanty2
    I withdraw all my suggestions.... :D

    The Pasqueflowers are lovely. They seed around a bit as well. A very underrated little plant  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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