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Ideas for a very shady difficult area.









Hello all,


I might be using this bit of the forum wrong, but I'll continue till I get shouted at!

We're stuck with what to do with a bit of the garden.  After about 3 years in the house, we're finally getting control of what was a very neglected 60ish metres of pretty thin garden - spending very little money and with no real hard landscaping.


The bit we're struggling with is the last 10 metres - it's under some very high trees, has apple trees in it, and previously obviously used as a dump of the garden - it sort of bulges up with something - whether it's just years of dumped soil or hardcore - it's also got the remains of very heavy flag stones buried, and loads of weeds - basically, very difficult to work on.

I've cleared it down, and spray it to keep it less jungle like, but now I'm stuck for a cheap thing to do down there, until we save up to get it landscaped somehow.


What do you think?  I've enclosed some low res pics I hope will work!



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,107

    Hi Mozza, welcome

    pics are uploaded starting with the tree in the tool bar and I'm told it doesn't work from a phone. 

    I await your photos with interest, your description could be of parts of my garden


  • Mozza3Mozza3 Posts: 35
    HHopefully you can see them.

    The link if it shows is a drop box of the same. ..
  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    I can see them nut. Just click in the centre of the box.  You will be of more help than me.

    Hello and welcome Mozza. It does look as though the ground is very hard to work on. Have you considered some raised beds and grow some shade loving plants in there. There are some shade loving geraniums, hostas, ferns amongst many others.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    I think first job is to get rid of the flag stones. I'd go with the shade lovers and woodland plants, it's perfect for them there, a woodland glade effect with some native woodland plants. Maybe a seat at the back as a focal point.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,053

    If you can lift the flagstones and set them aside you could maybe reuse them to make a hard seating area for a table and chairs and maybe a BBQ.  You could get height by building a trellis panel or a pergola or an arch. Once they're cleared, fork over the remaining soil and add as much well rotted manure or garden compost as you can then rake it more or less level.

    There are loads of plants that will do well in a sheltered, shady spot - hostas, foxgloves, ferns, Japanese anémones, astilboides, lots of clematis for scrambling up treliis and pergolas and arches, pulmonarias, hellébores, hardy geraniums, primulas, heucheras, tiarellas.

    If you use variegated foliage in hostas and pale coloured flowers the area will shine out, especially on grey days and dusk and make a beautiful addition to your garden.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,107

    How deep is the hard core? 

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 734

    I agree with Dave M.  What's in the ground there might be a problem even for woodland type plants which thrive in shade if there's all kinds of stone and dry poor soil with dusty soil coming up and a really hard surface.  Woodland and shade loving plants can be so easy if the ground is naturally rich with organic matter but if it's rock hard and has nothing good to feed them in there - you may have to work a bit more on the ground to provide moisture and nutrition.  If however you have some decent ready to plant areas just web search shade loving and woodland plants for dry shade and moist shade, depending on what you have and you'll get good advice on what copes with thick tree canopies above or thinner canopies.

    You have a challenge here but a great opportunity to make an enviously  fantastic space look fabulous with plants which would grow really quickly and cover the area quickly if you have enough decent stuff in the ground to support them.  Do a web search and you'll be amazed at the huge range of fabulous plants and shrubs which can survive what seem like difficult conditions at the moment.

    The preparation will pay off big time!


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