Forum home Garden design

North facing border planting ideas

Hi. I’m a novice but enthusiastic gardener, and need some help with a north facing border. It gets only partial sunlight, and is chalky soil. The fence is 6ft high, 8ft with trellis. Id like to add some height and interest all year round. I have a climbing hydrangea in there at the moment (middle), but what else should/could I plant? I’ve thought perhaps a photina red robin hedge all along, or if not maybe some grasses and ferns? If not, shrubs? It’s about 3m in length and 60-90cm depth. All advice welcomed! 


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,811
    I would widen the bed and plant Group 3 clematis, like Etoile Violette, on the fence, having attached wires to it. If it isn't your fence you should ask permission from your neighbour. Then I would plant shade liking perennials in the bed, Brunnera Jack Frost, epimedium, ferns, hostas etc and also some bulbs, daffodils. But everyone's taste varies, I like cottage garden plants and roses.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thanks, some really good ideas there and plants I haven’t heard of before. I think perhaps a clematis either side of the hydrangea and then the perranials you mentioned would look good. Snails hovered up my hosta before so need to think on that one!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,811
    edited September 2022
    The hydrangea will fill that space -and more, if it survives in that narrow border. No room for anything else. They need plenty of moisture too, to do well.
    You seem to have started several threads on the same question, which is very confusing. I agree with @Busy-Lizzie though [on the other thread she replied on]  - fences aren't ideal for them. They suit walls - they're very heavy plants.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
Sign In or Register to comment.